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BLM LIBRARY 




880656 



Volume 1 Regional Analysis 



FINAL 

Environmental Statement 

STAR LAKE • BISTI 
REGIONAL COAL 





US. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



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MS 

v.i. 



DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 



FINAL 



STAR LAKE-BISTI 



REGIONAL COAL ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT 



Prepared by 

Bureau of Land Management 
Department of the Interior 





Ac t ing Dire£*tor, Bureau of Land Management 
Washington, D.C.^ 



Byreau ef Land Management 
Library 

Bldg. 50, Denver Federal Center 
Denver, CO 80225 



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SUMMARY 
Draft ( ) Final (X) Environmental Statement 

Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management 

1. Type of Action: Administrative (x) Legislative ( ) 

2. Erief Description of Action: The proposed actions are based 
on two applications for the issuance of rights-of-way for support 
facilities related to potential coal developments within the ES 
Study Region. These applications include 114 miles of railroad 
and 108 miles of power transmission line. Impacts are evaluated 
for the years 1980, 1985 and 1990. (The cumulative impacts of 
existing coal mines and coal-related facilities as well as two 
pending actions under competitive short-term coal lease 
applications are included in this analysis, although they are not 
part of the proposed actions.) 

The first seven chapters of the Regional Analysis discuss the 
proposed Federal action and the related coal developments that 
could occur. Chapter VIII discusses three possible alternatives 
to the proposed Federal action (no action, partial action, and 
phased development), as well as a full development scenario. 
Together these form five possible levels of regional coal 
development, each of which would result in a different level of 
coal production. Annual production estimates for the proposed 
action (mid-level production) total 12.1 million tons by 1980, 
28.2 million tons by 1985, and 31.0 million tons by 1990. 

3. Summary of Environmental Impacts by 1990 

A. Topography would be altered on 28,000 acres (less than 1 
percent of region): 16,291 acres-strip mining, 2,854 
acres-railroad, 729 acres-powerline , 2,880 acres-community 
growth, 2,300 acres-power plant, and 2,946 acres-other 
facilities. 

B. A total of 288.5 million tons of coal would be extracted, 
reducing the strippable coal resource base of the region by 6 
percent. 

C. There would be disturbance or destruction of 1,000 to 
1,500 significant fossil localities. 

D. Annual use of 59,000 acre-feet of water would occur, with 
an increased potential for pollution of ground water and 
destruction of many stream channels during mining. There 
would be an average annual sediment discharge of 13,700 tons 
per mine. 



E. Soil and vegetation on an estimated 28,000 acres would be 
disturbed. About 17,950 acres (less than 0.4 percent of the 
region) would be directly disturbed as a result of the 
proposed action. Reclamation experience in the region has 
not been of sufficient duration for studies to determine the 
long-range effects on soil productivity; however, research 
results and experience indicate that successful reclamation 
of surface-mined areas could be achieved under certain 
conditions. 

F. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide concentrations would 
exceed background levels over a larger area, although maximum 
concentrations would be less than current maxima. 

G. Increases in particulate emissions and aerosols formed in 
the atmosphere would reduce the visibility in the vicinity of 
emission sources. The decrease in visibility in the ES 
Region as a whole would not be significant. 

H. Wildlife habitat on 17,950 acres either v/ould be 
destroyed, or adversely affected due to disturbance over a 
larger area from various other coal related developments. 

I. Visual resources would be severely impacted due to 
mining, and road, railroad, and transmission line 
construction. 

J. Recreation use would be restricted on approximately 
20,000 acres, which would have only a slight impact on the 
region. Recreation activity would increased from the present 
level. 

K. Highways within the region would experience a 4.3 percent 
increase in motor vehicles. Cumulative rail traffic on the 
Santa Fe main line, which could be as high as 60 trains per 
day, would be within the existing capacity. 

L. Livestock forage would be reduced by 1,605 Animal Unit 
Months (AUM's). 

M. Coal development would eliminate 25,280 acres from 
further consideration for wilderness designation. 

N. Serious impact would occur to archaeological and 
historical resources, with the disturbance of between 617-838 
sites. 

0. A cumulative increase of 6,735 jobs (6.1 percent would be 
added to the economy, and there would be a total rise in 

personal income of $142.5 million (14 percent). The 
cumulative increase in local tax revenues for all governments 
in the ES Region would be approximately $24.0 million which 
would be insufficient to meet the projected fiscal needs of 
local governments for $45.7 million. Population increases 
would require 1,865 additional housing units, and the number 
of school age children would increase by 1,580. Overall, 



impacts due to the proposed actions would be slight, usually 
less than 5.5 percent of the total coal development for the 
region. 

4. Alternatives Considered: Three alternatives to the proposed 
action are presented, the no-action alternative, the 
partial-action alternative, and the phased development 
alternative. Also, a full-development scenario is included to 
identify impacts at a level higher than mid-level. A 
transportation alternative also is included to identify potential 
impacts of alternate means of moving coal to market. Coal 
production by 1990 is projected to be 9.4 million tons per year 
under the no-action alternative, 14.5 million tons per year under 
the partial-action alternative, 25 million tons per year during 
the delay of the phased development alternative, and 75.4 million 
tons per year under the full-development scenario. 

5. Comments on the Draft Environmental Statement Were Requested 
From Various Agencies and Interest Groups: See list on next 
page . 

6. Date Final Statement was Made Available to EPA and the 
Public: February 26, 1979. 



ATTACHMENT 

The DES and a letter requesting comments were sent to the Federal 
agencies, State Clearing House, local and Tribal agencies, and 
special interest groups listed below. Those responding are 
marked with an asterisk (*). 

FEDERAL 

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation* 
Department of Agriculture 

Soil Conservation Service 

U.S. Forest Service* 
Department of Commerce* 
Department of Defense 
Department of Energy* 

Department of Health, Education & Welfare* 
Department of Housing and Urban Development* 
Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Indian Affairs* 

Bureau of Mines* 

Bureau of Reclamation* 

Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service* 

National Park Service* 

Office of Surface Mining* 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service* 

U.S. Geological Survey* 
Department of Labor 

Mining Safety & Health Administration* 

Occupational Safety & Health Administration* 
Department of Transportation 
Environmental Protection Agency* 
Interstate Commerce Commission 
Water Resources Council 
STATE 

The Hew Mexico State Clearing House will coordinate comments from 
all interested state agencies. 

LOCAL 

County Commissioners 

McKinley* 
Rio Arriba 
Sandoval 
San Juan 

Mayor's (cities, villages, unincorporated communities) 

Aztec 

Bloomfield 

Crownpoint 

Cuba 

Farmington 



Gallup 

Grants 

Milan 

San Ysidro 

Thoreau 

TRIEAL 

Office of the Navajo Tribal Chairman 

Presidents, Navajo Of f -Reservation Chapters 

Eaca 

Crov/npoint 

Lake Valley 

Mageeze 

Ojo Encino 

Pueblo Pintado 

Torreon 

NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS 

American Institute of Mining Engineers 

American Mining Congress 

American Sportman's Club 

Central New Mexico Audubon Society* 

Cuba Livestock Grazing Association 

Ecological Society 

Friends of the Earth 

Izaak Walton League of America 

National Council of Public Land Users 

Natural Resources Defense Council 

National Wildlife Federation 

New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association 

New Mexico Natural History Institute* 

New Mexico Wildlife Federation 

Paleontological Society 

Rio Puerco Grazing Association 

School of American Research 

Sierra Club 

Society for Range Management (New Mexico Station) 

Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists 

Soil Conservation Society of America 

Wilderness Society* 

Wildlife Management Institute 

Wildlife Society 



REGIONAL ANALYSIS 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 



Page 



Line 



Background 

Scope „ 

Area 

Agency Roles in Preparation . 

Future Review Opportunities . 
Proposed Actions 

Star Lake Railroad 

Fruitland Coal Load Transmission 

Pending Action .... 
Reviews and Approvals .... 

Authorizing Actions for Rights-of-Vay 

Related Reviews for Coal Development 
Regional Development Summary . 

Coal Development . 

Coalr-Related Development . 
Other Major Developments In the Ei 

Coal Gasification. 

Carbon Dioxide Extraction. 

Oil and Gas .... 

Uranium Mining and Milling 

Surface-Water Developments 

Agricultural Development . 

Powerplant Operations. 

Transmission Corridors 

Transportation Corridors . 
Summary of Projected Coal-Related Development 

Development Data 

Projected Water Requirements 
Basic Analysis Assumptions. 



Region 



Application 



CHAPTER II 
DESCRIPTION 



OF THE ENVIRONMENT 



1-1 

1-1 

1-1 

1-1 

1-3 

1-3 

1-3 

1-3 

•1-3 

1-7 

1-7 

1-7 

1-8 

1-8 

1-9 

1-15 

1-15 

1-18 

1-18 

1-18 

1-21 

1-21 

1-21 

1-21 

1-21 

1-24 

1-24 

1-24 

1-24 



Existing Environment II-l 

Geologic Setting II-l 

Topography II-l 

Stratigraphy II-2 

Structure II-8 

Geologic Hazards II-8 

Paleontology ..... 11-13 

Mineral Resources 11-17 

Climate 11-26 

Temperature 11-26 

Precipitation 11-26 

Insolation 11-26 

Wind H_30 

Pollution Dispersion Potential ...... 11-30 



Page 

Air Quality 11-33 

Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) H-33 

Sulfur Dioxide (S0 2 ) H-33 

Carbon Monoxide (CO) 11-36 

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO?) 11-36 

Non-Methane Hydrocarbons (NMHC) 11-36 

Photochemical Oxidants 11-36 

Sulfate and Nitrate Particulates 11-36 

Trace Elements 11-36 

Existing Emmissions 11-36 

Water Resources II-37 

Ground Water . II- 37 

Surface Water " , II- ill 

Water Quality 11-46 

Sediment 11-49 

Water Use [ ' [ 11-50 

Alluvial Valley Floors H-53 

Soils 11-53 

Group One 11-53 

Group Two 11-54 

Group Three 11-54 

Group Four 11-54 

Group Five 11-54 

Group Six 11-54 

Group Seven 11-55 

Group Eight H-55 

Group Nine 11-55 

Group Ten 11-55 

Vegetation 11-55 

Grassland 11-56 

Meadow-Cropland 11-56 

Sagebrush 11-56 

Conifer. ■ 11-59 

Waste 11-59 

Barren 11-59 

Pinyon-Juniper 11-59 

Saltbush-Greasewood 11-62 

Endangered and Threatened Plants 11-62 

Wildlife H-62 

Wildlife Habitat Types II-62 

Sensitive or Key Habitat Areas 11-64 

Mammals. 11-64 

Birds 11-67 

Amphibians and Reptiles 11-68 

Arthropods 11-68 

Fish 11-69 

Endangered and Threatened Species 11-70 

Aesthetics 11-71 

Visibility 11-71 

Noise II-71 

Visual Resources 11-72 



ii 



Page 



Land use 

Recreation 

Transportation 

Grazing 

Cropland . 

Wilderness 
Cultural Resources . 

Archaeolory in the San Juan Basin 

The Region's Cultural Resources 

national and State Registers of Historic 
Socioeconomic Conditions .... 

Demographic Features .... 

Economic Characteristics 

Conreunity Infrastructure . 

Social and Cultural Characteristics 
Future Environment Without the Proposed Action 
Land Use .... 
Air Quality 
Water Resources 
Transportation . 
Socioeconomic Conditions 
Other Resources 



Place 



11-72 

11-72 

11-75 
11-81 

II-86 

11-86 

11-88 

II-89 

II-89 

11-95 

II-95 

11-98 

11-103 

11-105 

11-118 

11-121 

11-125 

11-125 

11-126 

11-126 

11-127 

11-127 



CHAPTER III 

PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS 

Introduction ; CI-1 

Legal Regulatory Framework: Resource Development . . . III-l 

Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line III-l 

Star Lake Railroad III-l 

Coal Development III-l 

Legal and Regulatory Framework: Environmental Protection • 111-4 

Other Mineral Resources III-4 

Paleontology ^1-5 

Air Quality III-5 

Water Resources III-6 

Solid-Waste Disposal III-7 

Fish and Wildlife • • IH-7 

Wilderness III-7 

Cultural Resources III-7 

Land-Use Legislation and Planning III-8 

Federal III-8 

State IH-8 

County and Local III-8 

Summary of Institutional Relationships III-9 

CHAPTER IV 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 

Geologic Setting IV-1 

Topography . . . . . IV-1 

Stratigraphy IV-1 

Geologic Hazards IV-1 

Paleontology IV-1 

Mineral Resources IV-2 



m 



Page 

Air Quality IV- 4 

Emissions IV— ii 

Modeling Procedures IV- 4 

Resultant Regional Air Quality IV- 9 

Water Resources IV-17 

Ground Water IV- 17 

Surface Water 17-22 

Water Quality IV-24 

Sediment IV-24 

Summary of Impacts IV- 2 6 

Soils IV-26 

Vegetation 17-29 

Wildlife IV- 31 

Impacts on Habitat IV- 31 

Direct Impacts IV- 3 3 

Endangered and Threatened Species IV- 3 3 

Aesthetics IV- 3 4 

Visibility IV-34 

Noise IV-34 

Visual Resources IV- 3 5 

Land Use . . ■ 17-35 

Recreation IV- 3 5 

Transportation 17-37 

Grazing IV- 3 9 

Wilderness IV- 4 4 

Cultural Resources TV- 4 4 

Star Lake Railroad IV- 4 6 

Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line TV- 4 6 

Albert Firchau, Arroyo No. 1 Mine IV-46 

Carbon Coal Co., Gamerco Mine IV-46 

Amcoal Inc. , Amcoal Mine IV-46 

Pittsburg and Midway, McKinley Mine IV-46 

PNM and 'Western Coal Co. , San Juan Mine 

and San Juan Generating Station IV-46 

Ideal Easic Cement Co. , La Ventana Mine .... IV- 4 7 

Chaco Energy Co. , Star Lake Mine IV- 4 7 

Tucson Gas and Electric, Alamito Wash Mine • • • IV- 4 7 

Chaco Energy Co., South Hospah Mine IV- 4 7 

PNM, New Mexico Generating Station IV- 4 7 

Water Pipelines and Transmission Lines .... IV- 4 7 

Western Coal Co., Bisti Mine IV- 4 7 

Socioeconomic Conditions TV- 4 7 

Demographic Features 17-48 

Economic Conditions IV- 4 8 

Community Infrastructure IV- 5 9 

Governmental Authorities TV-59 

Social and Cultural Characteristics IV- 6 6 

CHAPTER V 

UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE IMPACTS 

Socioeconomic Conditions V-i 

Cultural Resources V-2 

Air Quality V-2 

Soils V-2 

iv 



Page 



Vegetation • 
Grazing . 
Wildlife. 
Transportation 
Paleontology. 
Mineral Resource 
Water Resources 
Geologic Setting 
Aesthetics • 
Land Use 



V-3 

v-3 

V-3 
V-3 
V-3 
V-4 
V-4 
V-4 
V-4 
V-5 



CHAPTER VI 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN 
Of THE ENVIRONMENT 



SHORT-TERM USES AND LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 



VI-1 



CHAPTER VII 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 



VII-1 



CHAPTER VIII 

ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 

Introduction. 

General. 

Regional Alternatives 

Production Levels 
No-Action Alternative 

Geologic Setting 

Air Quality. 

Water Resources . 

Soils . 

Vegetation 

Wildlife 

Aesthetics 

Land Use 

Cultural Resources 

Socioeconomic Conditions 
Partial-Action Alternative 

Geologic Setting 

Air Quality. 

Water Resources • 

Soils 

Vegetation 

Wildlife 

Aesthetics 

Land Use 

Cultural Resources 

Socioeconomic Conditions 
Phased-Development Alternative 
Full Development Scenario 

Geologic Setting 

Air Quality . 

Water Resources 

Soils . 

Vegetation . 

Wildlife 



VII-1 

VIII-1 

VIII-1 

VIII-1 

VIII-10 

VIII-10 

VIII-10 

VIII-15 

VIII-16 

VIII-16 

VIII-16 

VIII-16 

VIII-16 

VIII-18 

VIII-18 

VIII-18 

vni-21 
vni-21 

VIII-21 
VIII-23 
VIII-23 
VIII-23 
VIII-23 
VIII-23 
VTII-25 

vrn-25 

VHI-25 

VIII-27 
VIII-27 
VIII-27 
VIII-29 
VIII-29 
VIII-34 
VIII-34 



Page 

vni-3 1 ! 
VTII-3^ 
VTII-35 
VTII-38 
VTII-38 
VTII-38 
VIII-41 



Aesthetics • 
Land Use 

Cultural Resources ■ 
Socioeconomic Conditions 
Regional Transportation Alternatives 
Ties to Santa Fe Main Line • 
Ties to Denver and Rio Grande Western 
Other Means of Coal Transportation 

CHAPTER IX 

CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 

TY-1 

Team Organization tv i 

Preparation of the DES IX-1 

Contacts with Government Agencies 

TY— 1 

Institutions and Groups A 

Public Meetings X 

Review of the DES IX ~ 2 

Availability of the Document ±X.-d 

Written Comments IX- 3 

Oral Testimony 

TY— il 

Summary of Comments on the DES 

TY U 

Comments and Responses A 



VI 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Figures 



Page 



i 



1-1 

1-2 
1-3 
1-4 

1-5 
1-6 
1-7 

II-1 
II-2 

II-3 



II -H 

II-5 

II-6 

II-7A 

11-73 

II-8A 

II-8B 

II-9A 

II-9B 

11-10 

11-11 
11-12 
11-13 
11-14 
11-15 
11-16 

11-17 
11-18 
11-19 
11-20 
11-21 
11-22 

11-23 

11-24 

11-25 
11-26 
11-27 
11-28 

11-29 
11-30 
11-31 



Main line of the Atchinson, Topeka and • 

Santa Fe Railroad at Prewitt • 
Typical 230-kv transmission line 
Projected levels of coal production 
Coal stripping operations at the San Juan 

Mine • 

San Juan Generating Station- 
Plateau Oil Refinery 

Navajo Indian Irrigation Project 



nomen- 



The Bisti Badlands • 

San Juan Basin time-stratigraphic 
clature chart .... 

Diagrammetric cross sections showing rela- 
tions of continental, beach, and marine 
deposits 

Generalized cross section of coal beds near 
Gallup 

Hogback- Monocline 

Subsidence crater over a uranium mine 

Fossil tree stump 

Fossil log 

Articulated partial hadrosaur skeleton 

Fossil mammals, Osyacodon and Tetraclaenodon 



Side and top view of Claenodon ferox skull 
Lower jaw of Anisonchus gillianus • 
Elemental components of coal and stack 

products 

Annual wind rose for Zuni 
Annual wind rose for Gallup- 
Annual wind rose for Farmington 
Annual wind rose for Grants 
Annual wind rose for Albuquerque 
Generalized stratigraphic column showing 

the occurrence of ground water 
Maximum observed discharges- 
Grassland vegetative type 
Cropland vegetative type 
Sagebrush vegetative type 
Conifer vegetative type • 
Waste vegetative type 
Barren vegetative type • 
Pinyon-juniper vegetative type 
Saltbush-greasewood vegetative type • 
Grassland/desert-shrub/barr«n habitat type 
Pinyon-juniper woodland habitat type 
Open range and loose stock are traffic 

hazards 

Unimproved roads often become impassable 

Archaic lithic scatter 

Excavated Basketmaker site • 



1-4 
1-4 
1-10 

1-13 
1-13 
1-20 
1-20 

Facing II-l 
II-3 

H-5 

II-6 

11-10 

11-12 

11-14 

11-14 

11-15 

11-15 

11-16 

11-16 

11-24 
11-31 
11-31 
11-32 
11-32 
11-32 

11-38 
11-45 
11-57 
11-57 
11-58 
11-58 
11-60 
11-60 
11-61 
11-61 
11-63 
11-63 

11-79 
11-79 
II-93 
11-93 



vu 



Page 



11-32 

II-33A 

II-33B 

11-34 

11-35 

11-36 

H-37 

11-38 

II-39 

IV- 1 



Pueblo III Anasazi remains .... 

Navajo cribbed-log hogan remains 

Navajo stone-ring hogan remains 

Sam Day's Chinle Trading Post 

Remains of the Cross Springs stage station 

Traffic congestion is increasing 

A small, unimproved mobile home park 

Pueblo Pintado Boarding School . 

Temporary school rooms in Milan . 



Relationship between frequency of trains 
and distance from rail line at which noise 
exceeds 55 dBA 



11-9*1 

11-96 

11-96 

II-97 

H-97 

11-110 

11-110 

11-112 

11-112 



IV- 3 6 



Haps 



1-1 
1-2 
1-3 

1-4 

1-5 

II-1 

1 1-2 

H-3 
II-U 
II-5 
II-6 

1 1-7 

II-8 

II-9 

11-10 

11-11 

11-12 

11-13 
11-14 
11-15 

11-16 

11-17 

11-18 

IV-1 
IV-2 

IV-3 
IV-i| 



Area covered by the Star Lake-Bisti ES • 

Proposed route of Star Lake Railroad .... 1-5 

Proposed corridor for the Fruitland Coal 

Load Transmission Line 1-6 

Coal-related development under the proposed 

action I- ll 

Potential coal-related development I- 14 

Probable configuration of the North American 

epeiric seaway TL-h 

Outcrop of coal-bearing rocks in the ES 

Region ' II- 7 

Structure map of the San Juan Basin YL-9 

Earthquakes in New Mexico 11-11 

Earthquake hazard to be expected 11-11 

Isopach map of total coal thickness in the 

Fruitland Formation 11-21 

Locations of humate mines and areas 11-25 

Annual precipitation ... 11-28 

Annual snowfall 11-29 

Air sheds n ~34 

Air quality subareas and sulfur dioxide non- 
attainment areas II-35 

Location of stream-gaging stations and 

public water-supply systems 11-42 

Species distribution 11-65 

Major highways in the ES Region 11-76 

Area of the cultural resources inventory 

sample 11-90 

Cultural resources inventory area showing 

parcels surveyed 11-91 

75 mile driving distance from proposed 

development 11-99 

School districts and health facilities .... 11-111 



Annual average TSP concentrations for 1980 
Annual average S0 ? concentrations for 1980 
Annual average NOp concentrations for 1980 
Annual average TSP concentrations for 1985 



17-11 

IV-1 2 
IV-13 
IV-1 4 



VUl 



Page 



IV-5 Annual average SO 2 concentrations for 1985 

IV-6 Annual average HO2 concentrations for 1985 

IV-7 Annual average TSP concentrations for 1990 

IV-8 Annual average SO2 concentrations for 1990 

IV-9 Annual average NO2 concentrations for 1990 

VIII- 1 Coal-related development under the no- 
action alternative 

VIII-2 Annual average TSP concentrations for 1990 
under the no-action alternative 

VIII-3 Annual average SO2 concentrations for 1990 
under the no-action alternative 

VIII-4 Annual average NO2 concentrations for 1990 
under the no-action alternative 

VIII-5 Coal-related development under the partial 
action alternative 

VIII-6 Annual average TSP concentrations for 1990 
under the partial-action alternative 

VIII-7 Coal-related development under the high- 
level scenario 

VIII-8 Predicted head decline in the Entrada 

Sandstone 

VIII-9 Predicted head decline in the Westwater 
Canyon Member 

VTII-10 Predicted head decline in the Gallup 

Sandstone 

VIII-11 Alternate rail route from Bernalillo to 
Bisti 



IV-15 

IV-16 
IV-18 
IV-19 
rv-20 

viii-11 
vtii-12 
vni-13 

VIII-14 
'VTII -20 
VTII-22 
VIII-28 
VIII-30 
VIII-31 
VIII-32 
VIII-42 



TAELES 



{ 



I-1A 
I-1B 
1-2 

1-3 
1-4 
1-5 
1-6 

1-7 

1-8 

1-9 

1-10 

1-11 

II-1 
1 1-2 

II-3 
II-4 

11-5 
II-6 

1 1-7 
II-8 
II-9 



Estimated coal production 
Estimated employment .... 
Proposed transmission line corridors 
Other existing and future developments 
Natural gas processing plants 

Oil refineries 

Uranium mines and mills • 
Electrical transmission corridors 
Projected coal-related development 
Projected acreage requirements 
Projected acreage disturbed and reclaimed 
Projected annual water requirements • 

Value and type of mineral production 
Selected mineral production, 1970-75 
Mineral leases, permits, and claims • 
Trace element analyses of coal from the 

McKinley Mine .... 
Uranium resources in New Mexico 
Average seasonal temperatures 
Aquifer characteristics . 
Streams of northwest New Mexico 
Computed streamflow characteristics 



1-12 

1-12 
1-16 
1-17 
1-19 
1-19 
1-22 
1-23 
1-25 
1-26 
1-27 
1-28 

11-18 
11-19 
11-20 

11-23 
11-23 
11-27 
H-39 
11-43 
11-47 



IX 



Page 



11-10 Probability of a flood being exceeded 
11-11 Public water-supply systems .... 
11-12 Water use in the Upper Colorado River Basin 

in New Mexico 

11-13 Sound level and hur.an responses . 

II— 1 il Criteria for Visual Resources Management 

Classes 

11-15 Highway use and conditions .... 
II- 16 Estimated present forage production • 
11-17 wilderness Inventory Units in the ES Region 
11-18 Data on the population of the 5-county 

area 

11-19 Population of the ES Region, 1950-1977 
11-20 Population of major communities • 
11-21 Err.ployrrent and income in the 5-county 

area 

11-22 Components of community infrastructure 

perceived deficient by residents 
11-23 Governmental revenues and expenditures 
11—2^4 Housing in the 5-county area 
11-25 Public health systems in the ES Region 
11-26 Adequacy of health care systems • 
11-27 Adequacy of public safety and police 

protection 

11-28 Adequacy of fire protection . 

11-29 Water-supply and wastewater-treatment 

systems 

11-30 Solid-waste disposal facilities . 

11-31 Projected data on the population of the 

5-county area 

11-32 Projected urban-rural population 

distribution 

11-33 Projected population of major communities 
11-34 Projected employment and income . 
11-35 Fstimated housing needs .... 
11-36 Estimated public educational system 

requirements 

11-37 Estimated health-care system requirements 
11-38 Estimated police and fire protection 

reauirements 

11-39 V.ater-supply and wastewater-treatment 

requirements 



11-48 

11-51 

11-52 
II-73 

11-7^ 
II-77 
II-82 
11-87 

11-100 
11-101 
11-102 

11-104 

11-106 
11-108 
11-109 
11-114 
11-115 

11-116 
11-117 

11-119 
11-120 

11-122 

11-123 
11-124 
11-128 

11-129 

11-130 
11-131 

11-132 
II-133 



IV- 1 Fossil occurrence in the major coal-bearing 

units 

IV-2 Estimated number of fossil localities 

requiring mitigation 

IV-3 Estimated particulate emissions from mines 

in the ES Region 

IV-4 Estimated emissions from generating stations 

in the ES Region 

IV-5 Estimated emissions from major towns in the 

ES Region 



IV-3 
IV-3 
rv-5 
IV-6 
rv-8 



Page 



IV-6 



IV-7 



IV-8 
IV- 9 
IV- 10 

IV-11 

IV- 12 
IV- 13 

iv- m 

IV- 15 
IV- 16 
IV- 17 

IV- 18 
IV- 19 

IV-20 

IV-21 
IV-22 

IV-23 
IV-24 
IV-25 

IV-26 
IV-27 
IV-28 

IV-29 
IV-30 
IV-31 
IV-32 
IV-33 

IV-34 



Fossible controls and management practices 
for mitigating fugitive dust from coal 
mines 

SO2 and TSP concentrations at the Chaco 
Canyon National Monument due to emissions 
from the New Mexico Generating Station 

Estimated length of channel disturbed 

Estimated sediment discharge 

Projected soil disturbance due to coal- 
related development .... 
Projected soil disturbance due to the 
proposed action 

Vegetation type disturbed 

Summary of impacts on fish and wildlife 
resources 

Major highway use and condition . 

Estimated delay at grade crossings . 

Estimated increases in rail traffic . 

Communities along selected segments of the 
Santa Fe 

Cumulative acreage disturbed and AUMs lost 

Estimated impacts on archaeological and 
historical sites 

Estimated population of the 5-county 
area 

Estimated population of the ES Region 

Estimated urban-rural population 

distribution 

Estimated population densities . 

Estimated population of major communities 

Estimated employment in the 5-county 
area 

Estimated employment by sector 

Estimated personal income 

Estimated per capita income . 

Estimated housing needs . 

Estimated public educational system needs 

Estimated health care system needs . 

Estimated police and fire protection needs 

Estimated water supply and wastewater 
treatment needs 

Percentages of inhabitants by primary 
language spoken 



VIII-1 
VIII-2 
VIII-3 
VIII-4 

VIII-5 

VIII-6 

VIII-7 
VIII-8 

VIII-9 



Coal production , 

Projected annual water requirements . 
Projected areas disturbed and reclaimed . 
Projected population in the ES Region 
Estimated number of fossil localities 

subject to direct impacts .... 
Comparison of impacts on cultural resources 
Estimated channel disturbed .... 
Social and economic impacts .... 
Estimated sediment discharge, no-action 
alternative 



IV-10 



IV-21 
IV-23 
IV-25 

IV-27 

TV-28 
IV-30 

IV-32 

rv-38 
rv-4o 

rv-4i 

IV- H 2 
IV-43 

rv-45 
rv-^9 

TV-50 

iv-51 

IV-52 
IV-53 

rv-54 
rv-55 
rv-57 

iv-58 
IV-61 
IV-62 
rv-63 
IV-64 

rv-65 
rv-67 

VIII-2 
VIII-2 
VIII-3 
vill-3 

VTII-b 
VIII-iJ 

VIII-5 
VIII-6 

VIII-17 



XI 



Page 

VIII-10 Estimated increases in rail traffic .... VIII-19 
VIII-11 Estimated impacts on cultural resources, 

no-action alternative VIII-19 

VIII- 12 Estimated sediment discharge, partial-action 

alternative VIII-24 

VIII- 13 Estimated impacts on cultural resources, 

partial-action alternative • ... VIII-26 
VIII- 14 Estimated sediment discharge, full-develop- 
ment scenario VIII-33 

VIII-15 Estimated increases in rail traffic .... VIII-36 
VIII- 16 Estimated impacts on cultural resources, 

full-development scenario ...... VIII-37 

VIII- 17 Comparison of Conpaso and Star Lake rail 

routes vTII-40 

VIII-18 Air Pollutant Emissions from Combustion 

of Diesel Fuel ......... VIII-43 

IX- 1 Summary of public hearings IX- 5 



xu 



1 

! 



VOLUME I 



REGIONAL ANALYSIS 



|| 

( 



CHAPTER I 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 



THIS CHAPTER IS A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF FEDERAL 
PROPOSALS TO CONSIDER THE APPROVAL OF RIGHTS-OF-WAY 
APPLICATIONS FOR A RAILROAD AND A POWER TRANSMISSION LINE 
IN MCKINLEY AND SAN JUAN COUNTIES, NEW MEXICO. OTHER 
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ES REGION ARE DESCRIBED TO THE 
EXTENT THAT THEY RELATE TO THE PROPOSED ACTIONS. 



CHAPTER I 
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 



BACKGROUND 

Scope 

This Regional Environmental Statement dis- 
cusses the cumulative impacts of anticipated coal 
and coal-related activities in the Star Lake-Bisti 
Region, northwestern New Mexico. More specifi- 
cally, this statement describes the impacts that 
would result from the construction of the proposed 
Star Lake Railroad and the proposed Fruitland 
Coal Load Transmission Line, and from the coal 
mining that could occur if these facilities are con- 
structed. 

This Environmental Statement consists of three 
volumes. The first volume is the Regional Analysis 
of all coal-related development in the Star Lake- 
Bisti Region. Volume two contains site specific 
analyses of the Star Lake Railroad (SLR) and the 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line (FCL). 
The large maps (A through H) are in a separate 
volume as Appendix A, and Appendices B, C, and 
D (supporting data, glossary, and references) are in 
the second volume. 

The production level analyzed is based on the 
continuation of existing mines on Federal, State, 
and private land; coal development on existing 
Federal leases; development of State and privately 
owned coal requiring no Federal authorization; and 
other developments occurring or expected to occur 
within the Star Lake-Bisti Environmental State- 
ment (ES) Region. This development could result 
in the production of 3 1 million tons of coal a year 
by 1990. If potential Federal, State and private 
actions are fully implemented, 75 million tons per 
year could be produced from the region by 1990. 

Regional impacts are assessed through 1990, with 
the years 1980, 1985, and 1990 as reference years, 
and are compared to the environment existing in 
1977. There is sufficient coal in the region to sup- 
port mining well beyond 1990 under present eco- 
nomic conditions, with present technology, and 
with the rates of production used for this analysis. 

Many of the developments discussed require de- 
cisions and approval by authorities other than the 
Secretary of the Interior. The timing, level, and 
location of production also depends on economic 
conditions, changes in technology, national energy 



policy, and other factors that control the demand 
for coal. 

Area 

The ES Region (Map 1-1) is defined as the prin- 
cipal impact area of the Federal coal-related devel- 
opments discussed in this statement. The boundary 
of the ES Region follows the boundaries of the 
Chaco, Rio Puerco, and San Juan Planning Units 
administered by the Albuquerque District, Bureau 
of Land Management. The region, consisting of 
4,768,461 acres in northwestern New Mexico, in- 
cludes parts of McKinley, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, 
and San Juan Counties. The principal communities 
within the region are Aztec, "Bloomfield, Farming- 
ton, and Gallup (see Map A). Communities outside 
the region that would be affected include Cuba, 
Grants, Milan, and Thoreau. 

The ES Region borders the area of current and 
proposed coal development on the Navajo Indian 
Reservation (Map B). Some of the developments 
may be interrelated. Development of Indian coal 
on the reservation is not included as part of this 
ES, but where appropriate, it is included in the 
cumulative impacts. Indian coal actions follow a 
different decision route within the Department of 
the Interior, and are reviewed and approved under 
different policy criteria and secretarial responsibil- 
ities than for Federal coal. Because of the differ- 
ence in decision procedures, environmental review 
of Indian and Federal coal development is done 
separately. 

Impacts that extend beyond the principal ES 
Region are analyzed to the extent that they are 
significant and are more associated with the pro- 
posed actions than with other actions outside the 
region. Of particular importance in this region are 
the impacts on the Indian population, both on and 
off the reservations. Elements having a broader 
geographic impact include social and economic 
factors, air quality, transportation systems, and 
water resources. 

Agency Roles in Preparation 

This ES was prepared as a joint effort of the 
U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the 
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), under BLM lead. 
The U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM), the U.S. Fish 



1-1 




COLORADO 




CUBA 



to w Ml. 



SCALE 



MAP 1-1. AREA COVERED BY STAR LAKE-BISTI ENVIRONMENTAL 
STATEMENT. NEW MEXICO. 



1-2 



Regional Analysis 



Proposed Actions 



and Wildlife Service (USF&WS), and the Section 
of Energy and Environment of the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission (ICC) also participated in their 
fields of expertise. 

Future Review Opportunities 

This statement does not propose new coal leas- 
ing nor commit the Secretary of the Interior to a 
new coal-leasing program or the issuance of any 
new leases. Future coal-related actions beyond 
those proposed and analyzed in this statement may 
require additional assessment of environmental im- 
pacts. Further coal-related actions may include, for 
example, future mining and reclamation plans on 
existing leases, applications for future rights-of- 
way, exploration licenses, powerplants, and ex- 
change of land for existing leases. The Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 re- 
quires mining permits to be reviewed for renewal 
at a minimum of every five years. 

PROPOSED ACTIONS 

The two proposed actions described in this ES 
are the construction and operation of a railroad and 
a high voltage transmission line to serve the coal 
mining that may occur in the region. These propos- 
als require Federal review and consideration for 
approval of rights-of-way applications to cross 
public land administered by BLM. The second 
volume of this ES contains site-specific analyses of 
the impacts that would result from Federal approv- 
al of the rights-of-way. 

Star Lake Railroad 

The Star Lake Railroad Company has applied to 
the ICC (Finance Dockets 28272 and 28448) for 
authority to construct the line of railroad described 
in the right-of-way application. There has been no 
request for authority to operate over this line, but 
it is expected that the Atchison, Topeka and Santa 
Fe Railway Company, the railroad's parent compa- 
ny, will apply for common carrier authority. 

A right-of-way application (NM-29324) was sub- 
mitted on December 1, 1976 to the BLM by the 
Star Lake Railroad Company. This right-of-way 
would extend 61 miles north-northeasterly from the 
main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe 
Railroad at Prewitt (Figure 1-1) to Pueblo Pintado. 
From here, one branch would extend southeasterly 
10 miles to Star Lake; the other would extend 43 
miles northwesterly to the Navajo Reservation 
boundary near Bisti (Map 1-2). The total proposed 
right-of-way acquisition required for the 114 miles 
of railroad is 2,854 acres, including 290 acres of 
public lands administered by the BLM. 

Detailed route maps are available for public in- 
spection at the BLM Albuquerque District Office 



(Albuquerque, New Mexico), the BLM New 
Mexico State Office (Santa Fe, New Mexico), and 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office at 
Crownpoint, New Mexico. 

Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line 

Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) 
and Plains Electric Generation and Transmission 
Cooperative, Inc. have made a preliminary right- 
of-way application for a transmission system to 
provide electricity for potential coal mines in the 
Star Lake-Bisti area (Figure 1-2). This application 
(NM-30724) was submitted to BLM on May 6, 

1977. The transmission system would extend from 
PNM's proposed switching station (a tap point on 
PNM's Four Corners to Ambrosia 230-kv circuit 
near Bisti) along the mining area and rejoin the 
230-kv line at the Ambrosia station (Map 1-3). The 
total proposed right-of-way would be for the 108 
miles of powerline (100 miles of 230-kv and 8 miles 
of 115-kv); a centerline has not been determined at 
this time, so the number of miles of right-of-way 
across public lands is not known. 

Pending Action 

Two existing coal mines qualify under the cur- 
rent competitive short-term coal lease application 
standards to mine Federal coal. Although not part 
of the proposed action of this ES, these applica- 
tions are considered pending actions that are cur- 
rently being processed and assessed individually. 
The cumulative impacts of these mines are includ- 
ed in this analysis. 

Amcoal 

Amcoal, a subsidiary of Amcord, Inc., filed a 
competitive lease application (NM-27214) on De- 
cember 8, 1975, to mine Federal coal from land 
adjacent to its existing strip mine southeast of 
Gallup (Map 1-4), under the current short-term 
coal lease standards. This leasing action is analyzed 
in an Enviromental Assessment Record (EAR) 
scheduled for completion by BLM by November 
1978. 

Western-San Juan 

Western Coal Company filed a competitive lease 
application (NM 28093) on April 29, 1976, to mine 
Federal coal adjacent to its existing strip mine west 
of Farmington (Map 1-4), under the current short- 
term coal lease standards. This would be an under- 
ground mine just east of the existing mine. This 
leasing action will be analyzed in an EAR to be 
prepared at some future date. 

Pursuant to the amended court order of June 14, 

1978, in the case of Natural Resources Defense 
Council, Inc. vs. Royston Hughes, this application 
can be processed and a competitive lease sale held. 



1-3 




Figure I-1.--Main line of the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe 

Railroad at Prewitt. 




Figure 1-2. --Typical 230-kv transmission line. (Photo 
courtesy of Public Service Company of New Mexico.) 



1-4 



COLORADO 




ftCUBA 



O 10 20 10 Ml. 

I I I I 

SCALE 



MAP 1-2. PROPOSED ROUTE OF STAR LAKE RAILROAD 



1-5 




LEGEND 
9 • 115-KV TRANSMISSION LINE 

• • 230-KV TRANSMISSION LINE 

MAP 1-3 PROPOSED CORRIDOR FOR THE FRUITLAND COAL- 
LOAD TRANSMISSION LINE 



1-6 



Regional Analysis 



Proposed Actions 



REVIEWS AND APPROVALS 

Authorizing Actions for Rights-of-Way 
Applications 

The BLM is responsible for granting rights-of- 
way across public lands for coal-related develop- 
ments, such as access roads, powerlines, communi- 
cations systems, and railroads. 

The ICC is responsible for approving an exten- 
sion, new construction, or abandonment of a rail- 
road, except for spur, industrial, team, switching, 
or side tracks located wholly within one state. The 
New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands is re- 
sponsible for approval of rights-of-way that cross 
State land. 

Granting the proposed rights-of-way and ap- 
proving any of the related coal developments dis- 
cussed in this ES does not commit the Secretary of 
the Interior to any decision regarding Indian coal 
lands within or adjacent to the ES Region. Secre- 
tarial approvals of action on Indian coal lands, in 
his trust capacity, are independent of Federal coal 
leasing activities that may occur in this region. The 
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) exercises the Secre- 
tary's trust responsibility in review and approval of 
agreements between the Navajo Nation and private 
companies concerning development of Indian land, 
and coal activities are proceeding on adjoining 
Indian lands. 

Related Reviews for Coal Development 

This section briefly discusses the reviews and 
approvals needed and activities related to any Fed- 
eral coal that may be developed in the Star-Lake 
Bisti Region. 

Assistant Secretary for Energy and 
Minerals 

The Assistant Secretary shall approve the mining 
and reclamation plan (permit area) prior to com- 
mencement of mining operations by the company. 

Office of Surface Mining (OSM) 

OSM recommends, with the concurrence of 
BLM and USGS, approval or disapproval of a 
mining and reclamation plan to the Assistant Secre- 
tary for Energy and Minerals. Whenever a State 
has entered into a State-Federal Cooperative 
Agreement with the Secretary of the Interior, pur- 
suant to section 523 (c) of Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), the state 
regulatory authority and OSM will jointly review 
mining and reclamation plans and permit applica- 
tions. The New Mexico Coal Surface Mining Com- 
mission is the State regulatory agency responsible 
for approval of mining and reclamation plans for 
any coal mined in New Mexico. Both agencies will 
recommend approval or disapproval to the officials 



of the State and Department authorized to take 
final actions on the plans or permits. 

Bureau of Land Management 

The BLM develops the special requirements to 
be included in Federal coal leases and in mining 
and reclamation plans related to the management 
and protection of all resources other than coal and 
the post-mining land uses of the affected public 
lands. 

Geological Survey 

USGS is responsible for development, produc- 
tion, and coal resource recovery requirements to be 
included in the mining and reclamation plan. 

Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
act of 1977 (smcra) (p.l. 95-87) 

Section 523 of SMCRA requires that a Federal 
lands program be announced and implemented. 
Until this program is implemented, the initial regu- 
lations authorized by section 502 of SMCRA and 
published in final form (30 CFR 700) in the De- 
cember 13, 1977, Federal Register will apply, as 
modified, to all Federal coal leases. Modifications 
will be made under the authority of section 702 of 
this act to meet the requirements of the Federal 
Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1975 (30 USC 
181 et seq., (43 USC 1701 et seq.) and the Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 
USC 1701 et seq.). The basic changes are: (1) The 
post-mining land use designed in the reclamation 
plan will be that specified in the surface manage- 
ment agency's comprehensive land use plan; (2) 
Permanent roads, dams, transmission lines, etc., 
constructed on public lands will meet the design 
standards specified by the surface management 
agency; (3) Resource data collected during prepa- 
ration of the land use plan or lease stipulations will 
be available for developing the mining and recla- 
mation plan. A detailed discussion of the specific 
requirements of SMCRA is included in Chapter 
III. 

Surface Owner Consent 

Section 714 of SMCRA requires the protection 
of surface ownership rights. These rights include 
the consent of the owner of the land surface before 
mining and related activities begin and the protec- 
tion of adjacent areas from adverse impacts from 
these operations. 

Preference Right Lease Applications 
(PRLA) 

Preference right lease applicants were required 
to prepare by July 1977 an initial showing indicat- 
ing evidence of commercial quantities of coal. 
These showings will be evaluated in technical re- 



1-7 



Regional Analysis 



Proposed Actions 



ports. Environmental assessments will be prepared 
jointly by the BLM, the USGS, and any other 
surface management agencies, such as the Forest 
Service, that have land involved. 

Recent interpretation of the Mineral Leasing Act 
of 1920 has determined that areas of Federal coal 
under preference right lease application cannot be 
leased if there is an existing mining claim under the 
Mining Act of 1872. Holders of PRLA's were re- 
quired to submit abstracts of any mining claims in 
their areas of application by March 1978. 

On September 27, 1977, the Department of the 
Interior was enjoined by the District Court of the 
District of Columbia (Natural Resources Defense 
Council vs. Royston B. Hughes) from issuing any 
new coal leases (including PRLA's) until a supple- 
mental coal programmatic environmental statement 
correcting the deficiencies of the original statement 
of September 1975 has been issued in final form 
(scheduled for completion in April 1979), and a 
new coal management program has been adopted. 
An amended court order, approved on June 14, 
1978, allows 20 PRLA's to be issued based on least 
environmental damage. However, no PRLA's in 
the ES Region can be approved until the injunc- 
tion is completely resolved, since the 28 outstand- 
ing PRLA's all involve either surface mining or 
major new ancillary facilities including transporta- 
tion or water supply systems. 

Energy Mineral Rehabilitation Inventory 

and Analysis (EMRIA) 

The EMRIA program is a coordinated approach 
to collection, analysis, and interpretation of soil, 
water, overburden, and energy resource data. The 
main objective is to assure adequate baseline data 
for choosing reclamation goals and establishing 
lease stipulations through site-specific preplanning 
for surface mining and reclamation. The principal 
agencies involved are the BLM, the Bureau of 
Reclamation (BR), and the USGS. Other Federal 
and State agencies provide assistance as required. 

One EMRIA project, the Bisti West Study Site, 
has been completed and a report (BLM, BR, and 
USGS, 1976) has been published describing the 
project results. Seven core holes were drilled in the 
project area in T. 23 N., R. 12 W., about six miles 
southeast of the Bisti Trading Post. A second 
EMRIA project, the Kimbeto Project, was located 
just north of Chaco Canyon National Monument in 
T. 19 N., Rs. 9, 10, 11 W. Nineteen core holes 
were drilled in this project; the report is scheduled 
to be completed in late 1978. A third EMRIA 
project, the Ojo Encino Project is currently being 
drilled. This project involves five core holes in T. 
19, 20 N., R. 5 W. located just south of the Ojo 
Encino School. The report for this project prob- 
ably will not come out until late 1979. 



Evaluation Drilling Program 

The Conservation Division of the USGS is test 
drilling areas of Federal coal to evaluate the coal 
resources and establish a minimum bid value. Prior- 
ity is given to areas where an interest has been 
expressed in Federal coal. Usually four test holes 
are drilled in each section, and resistivity, density 
(gamma-gamma), and gamma-ray logs run. Coal 
from some test holes is sampled and proximate, 
sulfur, and BTU analyses made (see Chapter II). A 
complete analysis of trace elements is made on at 
least one sample. 

One drilling project, the Sundance-Bisti-Star 
Lake 1976 Project, is completed. The report has 
been published as USGS Open-File Report 77-369. 
This project included drilling 22 test holes in three 
areas: five holes were drilled in the Sundance Area 
in T. 14 N., R. 17 W., about 5 miles southeast of 
Gallup; fifteen holes were drilled in the Bisti Area 
in T. 23 N., R. 13 W. and T. 23 N, R. 12 W., 
south of the Bisti Trading Post; and two holes 
were drilled in the Star Lake Area in T. 20 N., Rs. 
5, 6 W. between five and eight miles north of the 
Star Lake Trading Post. A second project, the San 
Juan Mine Extension Project, has been completed, 
with a USGS open-file report (78-960) released in 
late 1978. This project, which included 28 test 
holes, was in T. 30 N., R. 15 W., about 13 miles 
west of Farmington. A third project, the DeNaZin- 
Bisti Project, is scheduled to start in late 1978. This 
project involves 61 test holes to be drilled in T. 23, 
24 N., Rs. 12, 13 W., south of the Bisti Trading 
Post. A USGS open-file report on this project 
probably will be released in mid 1979. 

Department of Energy (DOE) 

The Department of Energy, under the Depart- 
ment of Energy Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-91), is author- 
ized to set coal production rates for Federal coal 
leases, review and concur on Federal lease terms, 
conditions, and stipulations included in these leases, 
and establish diligence requirements for each lease. 
A memorandum of understanding is being devel- 
oped for coordination of responsibilities between 
the Departments of the Interior and Energy. 

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT 
SUMMARY 

Coal Development 

The first seven chapters of this Regional Analy- 
sis discuss the proposed Federal action and the 
related coal development that could occur. Chapter 
VIII discusses three possible alternatives to the 
proposed Federal action (no action, partial action, 
and phased development) as well as a full-develop- 
ment scenario. Together these form five possible 



1-8 



Regional Analysis 



Proposed Actions 



levels of regional development, each of which 
would result in a different level of coal production 
(Figure 1-3). 

The lowest level of coal production would occur 
under the no-action alternative of development. 
Neither the railroad nor the transmission line 
would be built, and none of the coal mines depend- 
ent on them would be open. However, mining 
would continue at the existing coal mines (Amcoal 
Inc. Amcoal Mine, Pittsburg and Midway McKin- 
ley Mine, and Western Coal San Juan Mine), and 
mines on State and privately owned coal (Albert 
Firchau Arroyo No. 1 Mine and Carbon Coal 
Company Gamerco Mine) and existing Federal 
leases (Ideal Basic Cement Company La Ventana 
Mine) would go into operation (Map VIII- 1). It is 
estimated that by 1990 the level of coal production 
(low level) would be about 9 million tons per year. 

The partial-action alternative of development 
(construction of just the transmission line) would 
include the development under the no-action alter- 
native plus coal mining on Federal leases that 
could proceed without the railroad (Western Coal 
Bisti Mine) (Map VIII-5). This would result in an 
intermediate level of coal production of about 15 
million tons per year by 1990. 

The phased-development alternative, suggested 
during the public review process, would delay con- 
struction of the transmission line between Bisti and 
Star Lake and the railroad between Pueblo Pintado 
and Bisti (Map 1-2). Resultant coal development 
would include that under the partial-action alterna- 
tive plus the Chaco Energy Company's Star Lake 
and South Hospah mines. Coal production would 
be about 25 million tons per year until construction 
of the Tucson Gas and Electric Alamito Mine, 
after which production would increase to the pro- 
posed-action level described below. 

Development resulting from the proposed action 
would include that anticipated for the partial-action 
alternative plus mines on State and privately 
owned coal that would depend on both the rail- 
road and the transmission line to operate (Tucson 
Gas and Electric Alamito Mine, and Chaco Energy 
Company's Star Lake and South Hospah Mines) 
(Map 1-4). This mid-level of coal production would 
be about 31 million tons per year by 1990. 

Finally, under the high-level scenario of develop- 
ment, all the mines in the ES Region in which an 
interest has been expressed would be in operation 
(Map VIII-7). This would create a high level of 
coal production of 75 million tons per year by 
1990. 

Tables I-1A and I- IB give the estimated yearly 
coal production and employment for each of the 
four possible levels of development. 



Coal-Related Development 

Also considered in this ES are the impacts that 
would result from the expansion of the existing San 
Juan Generating Station near Farmington and con- 
struction of the planned New Mexico Generating 
Station near Bisti. Expansion of the San Juan Gen- 
erating Station is included in all four levels of de- 
velopment, and the New Mexico Generating Sta- 
tion is included in all but the no-action alternative. 
Other possible coal-related developments in the 
region, which are not part of the proposed action, 
include two 500-kv transmission lines and the Con- 
Paso Railroad. Regional transportation alternatives, 
including the ConPaso Railroad, are discussed in 
Chapter VIII of the Regional Analysis. 

San Juan Generating Station 

The San Juan Generating Station is located ap- 
proximately 12 miles northwest of Farmington 
(Map 1-5). The first unit at the generating station 
(Figure 1-5) went into operation in November 1973. 
Public Service Company of New Mexico is con- 
structing and will operate three additional units at 
the existing site. (See FES 77-29, U.S. Bureau of 
Reclamation, 1977.) When completed, all four units 
would produce a net total generating capacity of 
1,588 megawatts (MW). This entire complex would 
occupy approximately 380 acres. As each unit be- 
comes operational, more acres would be mined on 
the existing Western Coal Company lease area 
(Figure 1-4). Additional land would be required for 
a transmission line right-of-way. The water-supply 
contract provides for a delivery of no more than 
20,200 acre-feet annually and a maximum consump- 
tion of 16,200 acre-feet annually and is effective 
until December 31, 2005. A contract for future 
delivery of water after that date will be subject to 
negotiation if such negotiation is authorized by 
law. Water is also being purchased from the Four 
Corners Generating Station. 

New Mexico Generating Station 

A 2,000-MW New Mexico Generating Station 
has been proposed by Public Service Company of 
New Mexico. (Selection of the lead agency to pre- 
pare an ES on this proposal is pending.) The gener- 
ating station would consist of four 500-MW units. 
The first unit would begin producing electricity in 
1985, and succeeding units would begin production 
in 1988, 1990 and 1992. The station would occupy 
approximately 2,400 acres within a four-section 
area about 35 miles south of Farmington (Map 1-5). 
With all units operating at 85-percent capacity, the 
generating station would consume about 9.5 million 
tons of coal and require 33,800 acre-feet of water 
annually, of which approximately one-half would 
be consumed. Fuel for the station would be sup- 



1-9 



70^ 



60- 



5 0- 



z 
O 



Z 

o 



40- 



2 



20- 



10- 




MID-LEVEL 



INTERMEDIATE LEVEL 



^<*-i 



LOW LEVEL 



I I 1 1 

1990 



T 1 1 1 T 

1 980 



1- T 

1935 

YEAR 



SOURCE: INDUSTRY DATA AND DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR ESTIMATES FOR 
ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT. 



FIGURE 1-3. PROJECTED LEVELS OF COAL PRODUCTION, STAR LAKE 
BISTI ES REGION. 



1-10 



COLORADO 



?666) 




Farmington 




N 

t 




10 



20 10 Ml. 



SCALE 



Related Development 

11. Fruitland Coal Load 

12. New Mexico Generating Station 

13. San Juan Generating Station 

14. Star Lake Railroad 



Legend: 

Coal Mines 

1. Alamito 

2. Amcoal 

3. Arroyo #1 

4. Bisti 

5. Gamerco 

6. La Ventana 

7. McKinley 

8. San Juan 

9. South Hospah 
10. Star Lake 

MAP 1-4. COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT UNDER THE PROPOSED-ACTION. 



Ml 



TABLE I - LA 

ESTIMATED COAL PRODUCTION 
(thousands of tons) 



Level of Production 



Low LeveL 



1/ 



Intermediate Level- 
s' 



Mid Level- 



High Level 



4' 



1978 



1979 



1980 



1981 



1982 



1983 



1984 



1985 



1986 



1987 



1989 



1990 



4,680 8,029 9,118 9,705 9,9^5 10,225 10,315 10,315 10,115 9,915 9,465 9,410 9,410 

4,680 8,029 9,618 10,005 10,445 11,425 12,715 12,715 12,615 12,415 12,965 14,310 14,510. 

4,680 8,029 12,160 15,705 19,145 24,025 28,215. 28,215 28,115 28,915 29,465 30,810 31,010 

4,680 10,029 14, 160 20,705 30,145 37,225 44,415 46,715 50,915 52,065 54,465 57,710 75,410 



TABLE I - IB 

ESTIMATED EMPLOYMENT 



Alternative of 
Development 



1978 



1979 



1980 



1981 



1982 



1983 



1984 



1985 



1986 



1987 



1988 



1989 



No-Action Alternative : 



1,555 



2 



Partial-Action Alternative- 1,555 



1,742 1,591 1,242 1,219 
2,117 2,601 2,878 2,6?5 



Proposed Action^ 



1,580 2,386 3,227 3,856 3,222 
FuljL-Devel .pment Scenario-' 1,685 2,582 3,678 4,526 4,287 



. 4, 



1,269 


1,299 


1,299 


1,795 


1,81- 


2,565 


2,484 


2,607 


3,357 


4,043 


4,34? 


5,228 



1990 



1,299 1,274 1,274 1,274 1,274 

3,253 3,649 3,529 3,964 3,663 

4,095 4,521 4,502 4,836 4,535 

6,170 6,913 6,794 7,228 7,127 



Includes existing mines, mining of State and privately owned coal for which proposals have been submitted, mining of coal on existing Federal 
leases that does not need railroad or transmission line, and expansion of the San Juan Generating Station. 

Includes all of the above plus the Western Bisti Mine, the New Mexico Generating Station and the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line. 

Includes all of the above plus the Star Lake Railroad, and the mines that would depend on the proposed actions. 



Includes all of the above plus mining of all coal in the ES Region in which an interest ha; be- n expressed. 



' . . '■' -\ 




Figure 1-4. --Coal stripping operations at the San Juan Mine. 




Figure 1-5- --San Juan Generating Station 
near Farmington. 



1-13 



COLORADO 




30 Ml. 

j 



NOTE: THIS MAP IS SCHEMATIC AND DOES NOT SHOW ACTUAL OR PROPOSED 

LOCATIONS OR ROUTES. 
LEGEND 

■ EXISTING GENERATING STATION 

▲ EXISTING STATION 

D P R O P O S E D G E NE R AT I NG STATION 

A PROPOSED SUBSTATION 

H 1 — PROPOSED C O NS O L I D A T I O N- E L PASO RAILROAD 

~* PROPOSED 500-KV TRANSMISSION LINES 
PROPOSED WATER PIPELINE 
MAP 1-5. POTENTIAL COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT. 



1-14 



Regional Analysis 



Proposed Actions 



plied from Western Coal Company's planned Bisti 
coal mine adjacent to the generating station. 

Water to be used for cooling at the generating 
station would be supplied from ground water 
pumped out of existing and planned uranium mines 
in the Crownpoint vicinity. (The availability of 
water from uranium mines has been described by 
Hiss, 1977.) A 92-mile pipeline would bring water 
to the plant. The pipeline corridor location is tenta- 
tive; more accurate figures will be available when 
its exact location is determined. 

Transmission Lines 

Two high voltage transmission lines, in addition 
to the Fruitland Coal Load, related to the mineral 
and power generating development within the ES 
region have been planned. A general description of 
each of the lines is provided in Table 1-2; approxi- 
mate locations are shown on Map 1-5. Since the 
exact location of these transmission lines has not 
been determined, the information shown should be 
considered tentative until rights-of-way have been 
applied for. 

ConPaso Railroad 

The Consolidation Coal Company and the El 
Paso Natural Gas Company (ConPaso) have pro- 
posed a joint venture to construct a railroad locat- 
ed almost entirely in the eastern part of the Navajo 
Indian Reservation. This railroad would be west of 
the ES Region. The proposed route would run 
north from the ConPaso coal lease near Burnham 
to the San Juan Generating Station near Farming- 
ton, and south from the lease to the McKinley 
Mine spur and thence to the Santa Fe main line 
near Gallup, a total distance of approximately 115 
miles (Map 1-5). The southernmost ten miles 

of this route, from the reservation to the McKinley 
Mine spur, is within the ES Region; however, no 
public lands would be crossed. The northern seg- 
ment ending at the generating station is within the 
ES Region and is discussed as the Burnham to 
powerplant route in the final ES prepared by the 
Bureau of Reclamation (BR) for the proposed ex- 
pansion of the San Juan Powerplant (FES 77-29, 
1977). Further environmental review for Federal 
actions associated with the railroad will be per- 
formed by the BIA. 

As presently proposed, this line would be built 
to haul ConPaso coal to the powerplant or to the 
Santa Fe line for shipment to other consumers. 
ConPaso has also studied the possibility of extend- 
ing a branch line along Hunters Wash to an inter- 
section with the proposed Star Lake Railroad 
alignment at the Navajo Indian Reservation bound- 
ary. Such a line, if extended and operated as a 
common carrier, could replace part or all of the 



proposed Star Lake Railroad (see Chapter VIII of 
the Regional Analysis). 

OTHER MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 
THE ES REGION 

The following section discusses interrelationships 
between the proposed action and other develop- 
ments within the ES region. Table 1-3 summarizes 
these interrelationships; the developments are 
shown on Map B. 

Navajo Coal Mine 

In 1957, Utah International, Inc. (UII) negotiated 
a surface mining lease containing over 24,000 acres 
with the Navajo Tribe. This lease extends from 
near Fruitland, New Mexico and the immediate 
proximity of the Four Corners Powerplant, south- 
erly 25 miles into the Navajo Indian Reservation. 
Since that time, an additional 7,000 acres have been 
leased, increasing the land lease area to 31,000 
acres. Reserve estimates total 1.1 billion tons of 
strippable coal, of which only a third is presently 
committed to the Four Corners Powerplant. UII 
also acquired from the State Engineer of New 
Mexico the right to divert 25,000 acre-feet of water 
annually from the San Juan River, with expansion 
rights to 39,000 acre-feet per year. It is possible 
that coal resources will be transported to other 
power plant sites if immediate fossil fuel require- 
ments are in demand. 

Coal Gasification 

El Paso Coal Company, a wholly owned subsidi- 
ary of The El Paso Company, proposes to con- 
struct and operate a coal gasification plant, a sur- 
face coal mine to supply the plant with coal, and 
the necessary support facilities. The plant would be 
located on the Navajo Coal Lease jointly held by 
El Paso and Consolidation Coal Company. The 
coal lease, approximately 35 miles southwest of 
Farmington, is located just west of Bisti on the 
Navajo Reservation, as shown on Map B. A single 
gasification complex would be constructed in the 
west-central area of the lease at the site noted as 
Burnham II on Map B. (No construction will occur 
at the Burnham I site shown on this map.) The 
complex would be constructed in phases, with the 
initial plant designed to produce 72 MMCFD of 
synthetic pipeline gas in late 1982. This complex 
would be expanded to a full-sized facility capable 
of producing 288 MMCFD. In later years, it could 
be further expanded to produce 410 MMCFD. 
Mining operations would disturb 3,671 acres of 
land for the 72 MMCFD plant over a period of 25 
years. This acreage would expand to about 15,000 
acres for the 288 MMCFD over a 25 year period. 
The gasification plant would have a consumptive 



1-15 



Table 1-2 
PROPOSED TRANSMISSION LINE CORRIDORS 



Year in 
Operation 



Terminal Points 



Voltage Approx. Right-of-way Approx. Mile of Approx. Number of Approx. Acres 
(kv) Miles Width (ft.) Service Roads 1/ Structures J/ Disturbed 3/ 



1980 
1985 

1991 



Fruitland Coal Load 



V 



New Mexico Generating 
Station to Rio Puerco 
Substation 

Mew Mexico Generating 
Station to Rio Puerco 
Substation (second 
line) 



230 

115 



500 



500 



100 
8 



115 



115 



100 

50 



200 



200 



100 



115 



115 



700 
55 



360 



360 



Source: Public Service Company of New Mexico, 1978a, 1978b. 

y Access roads generally do not equal line mileage; they are usually less because existing access can be used 



2/ 
3/ 



in many instances, thus reducing Impact. 
Self-supporting structures . 



291 

16 



290 



290 



ii The disruption of land surfaces by substations, access roads and structure assembly location; does not Imply 



V 



disturbance is permanent. 

Part of proposed action, see Map 1-3 



Table 1-3 
OTHER EXISTING AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO 



Projects 



Number 
of Projects 



Acres Water Requirements 
or Miles (ac. ft./yr. E mployment 



Interrelationships with Proposed Actions 



Coal Gasification 



Carbon Dioxide Extraction 



Oil & Gas 



Uranium Exploration, Mining 
& Milling 

Water Resource Development 



h. Agricultural Development 
Powerplant Operations 

Transmission Corridors 



15 



Major Transportation Corridors 

Roads 3 

Railroad 1 



Navajo Coal Mine 



44,162 



1,089 



240 
65 



31,000 



28,000 



none 
none 



51,600 



3,318 



1 


200,000 


no data 


no data 


10,204 wells 
10 refineries 


224,526 


no data 


no data 


34 mines 
8 mills 


45,982 


25,000 Pumped 
10,000 consumed 


5,800 


2 


82,100 


200,000 


no data 


1 


110,630 


330,000 


2,150 


3 


600 


59,000 


1,343 



no data 



no data 
no data 



no data 



Possible future use of proposed Con Paso rail- 
road spur for coal transportation. 

Pipeline right-of-way may cross areas of potential 
mines. 

Existing petroleum leases on 224,526 acres are 
coincident with potential coal mining. 

Claims for locatable minerals on 45,982 acres 
overlying potential coal mining. 

Possible pipeline right-of-way conflict with 
potential coal mines. 

Possible future use of Con Paso railroad spur 
for transportation of agricultural products. 

Construction of a 500-kv line from Four Cor- 
ners to potential New Mexico Generating Sta- 
tion. Use of potential Con Paso railroad spur 
for coal transportation, and additional mining 
on Western Coal Company lease area. 

Construction of a transmission line for elec- 
tric services to potential coal mining areas . 



All major transportation corridors will be 
used either directly or indirectly with the 
potential coal mining. 

Use common water source. 



TOTfi^n ^T' l 975 l N 7^ x f ° Ener & ^sources Board, 1977; New Mexico State Highway Department, 1977; New Mexico State Planning Office 
llltll 19?6cf lSri977af^b? ri0r ' *" ° f '"^ AffalrS ' ^ 1977 * J "^ De »^ of the Interior, Bureau of Redaction S^a; 



Regional Analysis 



Proposed Actions 



use of 15,000 acre-feet of water per year. Descrip- 
tions of the 288 MMCFD and 410 MMCFD gasifi- 
cation facilities are given in FES 77-03 (Bureau of 
Reclamation, 1977), although the location of the 
complex as given in this document is not now 
correct. A description of the Navajo Coal Lease is 
given in FES 77-13 (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
1977). 

Western Gasification Company (WESCO) has 
proposed to construct and operate four coal gasifi- 
cation plants and the necessary support facilities on 
the Navajo Indian Reservation approximately 27 
miles southwest of Farmington. The project is de- 
scribed in an ES prepared by the Bureau of Recla- 
mation (FES 76-2, January 1976). The total pro- 
duction of 1,000 million cubic feet per day of sub- 
stitute natural gas would be available in 1985. Utah 
International, Inc. would provide the coal and 
water for the proposed project. The contract pro- 
vides for a maximum use of 35,300 acre-feet of 
water per year through the year 2005, all of which 
would be obtained from the San Juan River. The 
plants and support facilities would occupy 3,840 
acres of land. Mining operations would disturb ap- 
proximately 31,000 acres of land over the 25-year 
life of the project. 

Current available information indicates that the 
coal gasification projects are still being considered 
by the Navajo Tribe and that no decisions have 
been released to the public. 

Carbon Dioxide Extraction 

The Shell Oil Company proposes to extract 
carbon dioxide from underground reservoirs in 
southwestern Colorado, transport it by pipeline 
across New Mexico, and inject it into the Denver 
Unit of the Wasson Oil Field in west Texas. Injec- 
tion of this carbon dioxide is part of a recovery 
process expected to produce about 280 million bar- 
rels of otherwise unrecoverable oil. An ES sched- 
uled for completion by 1979 describing this project 
will be prepared by the BLM. A possible conflict 
could result from the pipeline crossing areas of 
potential coal mining in the Star Lake area (Map 
B). 

Oil and Gas 

An estimated 44.5 percent of New Mexico's nat- 
ural gas production is from 8,600 active wells in 64 
fields located throughout the San Juan Basin. Of 
the estimated reserves of natural gas in New 
Mexico, 63.8 percent are located within the San 
Juan Basin. Engineering estimates by EPNG indi- 
cate an additional 1,200 to 2,000 new wells may be 
required for the complete development of just the 
Blanco gas field (Oil and Gas Journal, 1974). Table 
1-4 gives the designed capacity of natural gas proc- 
essing plants in northwest New Mexico (Map B). 



Approximately six percent of New Mexico's oil 
production comes from 77 oil fields containing 
1,604 producing wells in San Juan and Rio Arriba 
counties. The oil refineries in the region (exempli- 
fied in Figure 1-6), their location, and refining ca- 
pacity are given in Table 1-5. 

Oil and gas development and operations could 
conflict with potential coal mining (Map B). In 
several places in northwestern New Mexico, oil 
and gas occur below one or more coal beds. Simul- 
taneous operation of a coal mine (particularly sur- 
face mining) and oil or gas production could result 
in a direct conflict unless both operations are care- 
fully coordinated. Drill pads, producing well sites, 
and the pipeline network of a producing field could 
interfere with the orderly development of a surface 
mine. Drill holes might interfere with an under- 
ground coal mine where the holes intersect the 
coal bed. The BLM has recommended that oil and 
gas leasing should be suspended in coal lease areas 
covered by approved mining plans. This suspension 
would last until the area is mined or the coal lease 
is terminated, unless otherwise preferred by the 
coal lessee. 

Uranium Mining and Milling 

The Grants Uranium Belt is the most important 
uranium-producing district in the United States. 
Mining and exploration are taking place in four 
major areas: (1) Marquez/Cebolleta/Laguna, (2) 
San Mateo/Mount Taylor/Ambrosia Lake, (3) 
Crownpoint/Smith Lake, and (4) Churchrock 
(Map B). The BIA is preparing an environmental 
study, scheduled for completion in September 1979, 
to analyze all of this activity. A Final Environmen- 
tal Statement has been prepared by TVA for the 
Dalton Pass Uranium Mine (1978a) and a Draft 
Environmental Statement was prepared for the 
Crownpoint Uranium Project (1978b). Exploration 
also has been undertaken on the Navajo-Exxon ura- 
nium project southwest of Shiprock. 

At present about 5,800 people are employed in 
uranium exploration and production in the mining 
district. A population increase of 5,500 to 17,000 
people is expected in or near the mining district by 
1985 as a result of the uranium development. Cur- 
rently, approximately 25,000 acre-feet of water per 
year is discharged from uranium mines, with about 
10,000 acre-feet per year of this consumed by the 
uranium mills. Water will be obtained from deep 
wells located within each mining district. 

The uranium resources are in geologic units that 
underlie coal reserves; however, there are no po- 
tential Federal actions for coal mining in the areas 
where uranium is being mined. If coal development 
expands into these areas in the future or if uranium 
mining expands into the coal mining areas, there 
could be conflicts in the development of these re- 



1-18 



TABLE I-l| 
NATURAL GAS PROCESSING PLANTS IN NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO 



Company 



El Paso Natural Gas 



Southern Union 
Production 



TOTAL. 



Plant Name 
and Location 



San Juan River 

(2 mi. NE of Fraitland) 

Blanco 

(3 mi. N of Bloomfield) 

Chaco 

(18 mi. SE of Farmington) 

Kutz Canyon 

(1 mi. S of Bloomfield) 

Lybrook 

(40 mi. NW of Cuba) 



Design Capacity 

(Thousand cubic 

feet/day) 

71,000 
558,000 
594,000 

97,000 

82,000 
1,702,000 



Source: Compiled from New Mexico Oil and Gas Association statistics. 

TABLE 1-5 
OIL REFINERIES IN NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO 



Re- finery 



Shell Oil Company 
Ciniza 

Plateau, Inc. 

Caribou Four 
Corners Oil 

Thrifty Company 

Giant 

TOTAL 



Location 



Gallup 

Bloomfield 
Kirtland 

Bloomfield 
Bloomfield 



Capacity (barrels 
of oil per day) 



20,000 

7,500 
1,500 

4,020 



9,000 



^'2,020 



Source: Compiled from New Mexico Oil and Gas Association statistics. 



1-19 




Figure 1-6. --Plateau Oil Refinery near Bloomfield. 




Figure 1-7. --Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. 



1-20 



Regional Analysis 

sources. Possible conflicts could be resolved by 
agreement between the interested parties in con- 
junction with the appropriate agencies. Table 1-6 
summarizes the data on mines and mills and em- 
ployee expansion in the Grants Uranium Belt. 

Surface-Water Developments 

The proposed Animas-La Plata Project would 
include 72,100 acres in the Upper Colorado Basin 
in La Plata and Montezuma Counties of southwest- 
ern Colorado and in San Juan County of north- 
western New Mexico (Map B). The multipurpose 
project would supply water to the cities of Duran- 
go, Colorado, and Aztec and Farmington, New 
Mexico; for the development of resources on the 
Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Indian Reserva- 
tions; and to irrigate land in the La Plata River and 
Mancos river drainages. The proposed project is 
expected to consume 152,220 acre-feet of water 
annually, which would be diverted from the upper 
Animas and La Plata River drainages and stored in 
Ridge Basin and Southern Ute Reservoirs. The 
project is described in an ES being prepared by the 
BR scheduled for completion in January 1979. 

The Gallup-Navajo Water-Supply Project would 
deliver 38,500 acre-feet of surface water annually 
from the San Juan River via a pipeline to Gallup 
and some of the small communities located on the 
Navajo Indian Reservation. The pipeline would 
generally parallel U.S. Highway 666. The BR de- 
scribes this project in an ES scheduled for comple- 
tion in June 1979. 

The water supplied to Aztec, Farmington and 
Gallup by these projects would meet the increased 
needs of these cities resulting from the various 
energy developments in the region. The surface- 
water resources of the San Juan Basin are fully 
appropriated and are now committed to existing 
uses and authorized projects or are committed ten- 
tatively to projects under investigation Any addi- 
tional use of surface water by coal-related develop- 
ments would require acquisition and transfer of ex- 
isting rights or modification of tentative commit- 
ments. Any diminution of flow of the San Juan 
River due to increased withdrawals would increase 
the magnitude of impact of the sediment discharges 
from the mining areas. 

Agricultural Development 

The Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP) will 
have 110,630 acres of Navajo Indian Reservation 
and trust lands south of Farmington under irriga- 
tion by 1987 (Map B). The irrigation water is di- 
verted from Navajo Reservoir via a canal (Figure 
1-7). The Navajo Tribe also proposes to construct a 
related agribusiness complex near Farmington. This 
project is described in FES 76-52 (Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, 1977). 



Proposed Actions 

Besides the acres that would be irrigated, 93,000 
acres would be utilized for livestock grazing, 1,500 
acres would be devoted to agribusiness facilities, 
and 11,231 acres would be utilized by roads and 
irrigation canal corridors. When NIIP is under full 
operation, it is expected to employ 5,129 persons. 
Authorizing legislation provided for an annual di- 
version of 508,000 acre-feet of water from storage 
in the Navajo Reservoir, limiting use for irrigation 
on the NIIP to 110,630 acres. Recent information 
indicates, however, that these requirements have 
been substantially reduced, as a result of changing 
from a gravity to a sprinkler system. Thus, the 
annual diversion requirement is estimated at 
330,000 acre-feet, with the 178,000 acre-feet reduc- 
tion being released through the powerplant for 
downstream purposes. 

The Navajo Tribe has agreed to exclude the 
south half of sections 28, 29 and 30, T. 24 N., R. 13 
W., from agricultural development because of in- 
terest that has been expressed in possible coal 
mining and development there. 

Powerplant Operations 

The Four Corners Generating Station, which 
became operational in 1963, is located on the 
Navajo Indian Reservation approximately 20 miles 
southwest of Farmington (Map B). This generating 
station is owned jointly by Arizona Public Service 
Company and five other utilities. The plant, con- 
sisting of five units, burns a maximum of 28,000 
tons per day of subbituminous coal. Total generat- 
ing capability is 2,175 MW. About 29,000 acre-feet 
of water per year is required for operation of the 
Four Corners Generating Station at 80-percent ca- 
pacity. The powerplant obtains all its coal from a 
lease held by Utah International, Inc., on the 
Navajo Indian Reservation. Sufficient coal reserves 
are available to enable power generation past the 
year 2000. 

Transmission Corridors 

New Mexico is a net exporter of electrical 
power; only 37 percent of the power generated is 
used in the State. The remaining 63 percent is 
transported via major transmission corridors to var- 
ious cities in other southwestern States. Transmis- 
sion corridors located in northwest New Mexico 
are listed in Table 1-7 and shown on Map B. 

Some of the potential coal development in the 
ES region would be used to generate power for 
these transmission lines. Where the lines cross areas 
of potential coal mining, they may have to be relo- 
cated before mining can proceed. 

Transportation Corridors 

Several highways in the San Juan Basin are 
being rebuilt to accommodate the increase in traffic 



1-21 



Table 1-6 
EXISTING AND PLANNED URANIUM MINES AND MILLS 





















1978 Mill 










No. of 


1/ 


No. of. 




No. of 


3/ 


Capacity 






County 


Company 


Emp loyees 


Mines - f 


Miles 


( tons/day ) 






McKinley 


Bokum Resources Corp . 
Cobb Nuclear Corp. 
Continental Oil Company 
Gulf Minerals Resources 


300 
15 

493 
10 




1 ud 

2 ud 
2 P 
1 op 




lp 












Kerr-McGee 


1509 




9 op 2 


ud 


1 




7000 








Ranchers Exploration & Development 


207 




3 op 
















M & M Mining Co. 






1 op 
















Phillips 


400 




1 ud 1 


P 














Pioneer Nuclear Inc. 


292 




1 P 
















Reserve Oil & Mineral Corporation 


30 




1 op 
















Todilto Exploration & Development 


11 




2 op 
















Mobil Oil Corporation & TVA 


400 




1 p 
















United Nuclear & TVA 


550 




2 P 








3000 
3500 








United Nuclear 


468 




4 op 




1 






to 




United Nuclear Homestake Partners 


275 




5 op 1 


ud 


1 






to 




Western Nuclear 

Koppen Mining & Construction Corp. 


46 

42 




1 op 1 
1 op 1 


ud 
ud 












Valencia 


Anaconda 

Gulf Mineral Resources 


624 
400 




3 op 2 
1 ud 


ud 


1 
lp 




6000 
1660 








Sohio Petroleum Co. 


280 




1 op 




1 










United Nuclear 


30 




1 op 1 


ud 












Sandoval 


Continental Oil Co. 
Kerr McGee 
Union Carbide 


300 
200 




1 ud 
1 ud 
1 ud 














San Juan 


Ray Williams Mining 


4 




1 op 














Source: Summarized from Engineering and Mining Journal, 


March 1978 and 


Novemfc 


er 


1978 and 






frorr 


i data supplied by the New Mexico State 


Mine Inspector's Office. 












1/ 


Number of employees is incomplete for 


some of the 


> operational 


mines 


. The 


number given for 








mines under development or planned Is 


the number 


of 


employees 


needed when 


the mines are in 








full production. 




















i/ 


p = planning stage, ud = under development, op = 


operational 











Table 1-7 
ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION CORRIDORS OF NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO 



Voltage Transmitted 



Location 



Existing 



Miles 



115 kv 


115 kv 


115 


kv 


115 


kv 


115 kv 


230 


kv 


230 


kv 


230 


kv 


230 


kv 



230 kv 

345 kv 
345 kv 
3^5 kv 
3^5 kv 
345 kv 



500 kv 



Albuquerque to Anaconda 
Anaconda to Gallup 
Gallup to Arizona Border 
Four Corners to Colorado Border 
Four Corners to Waterflow 

Total Miles of 115 kv 



Albuquerque to Anaconda 

Anaconda to San Juan Generating Station 

San Juan Power Station to Tucson Gas & Electric 

Four Corners Generating Station to Colorado 
Border 

Four Corners Generating Station to Arizona 
Border 

Total Miles of 230 kv 



71 
54 

20 

19 

5 

169 



71 

105 

8 

13 

29 

226 



Albuqueraue to San Juan Generating Station 157 

via north line 

Albuquerque to San Juan Generating Station 156 

via south line 

San Juan Generating Station to Arizona border 55 

via north line 

San Juan Generating Station to Arizona border 57 

via south line 

Four Corners Generating Station to Arizona border 269 

Total Miles of 345 kv 694 

Proposed 

Four Corners Generating Station to New 166 

Mexico Generating Station to Ambrosia 
Substation to proposed Substation 22 miles 
south of Rio Puerco Station. 



Source: Grant, 1975. 



1-23 



Regional Analysis 



Proposed Actions 



anticipated from the agriculture and energy-related 
developments in the area (Map B). 

State Highway 44 is being rebuilt starting 13.5 
miles northwest of Cuba and extending 75 miles to 
Bloomfield. The highway will be two lanes in most 
areas, with four-lane sections at trading posts and 
along the approach to Bloomfield. 

U.S. Highway 666 from Gallup to Shiprock will 
be rebuilt parallel to or along the existing highway. 
By the end of 1977, construction had been com- 
pleted from Gallup to Sheep Springs, covering 50 
of the 95 miles of the project. 

The newly designated State Highway 371 ex- 
tends slightly more than 100 miles from Thoreau to 
Farmington. Approximately 65 miles of this high- 
way will be reconstructed as a paved two-lane 
highway. 

SUMMARY OF PROJECTED COAL- 
RELATED DEVELOPMENT 

Development Data 

It is estimated that population would increase 
4,210 by 1980 as a result of the proposed action. 
Further increases of 300 by 1985, and 3,050 by 
1990 would be in addition to the estimated popula- 
tion increase of 90,600 by 1990 without the pro- 
posed action. 

The coal-related development expected within 
the Star Lake-Bisti Region through 1990 as a result 
of the proposed action is summarized in Table 1-8. 
In addition to the Amcoal, McKinley, and San 
Juan Mines that are presently operating, the 
Arroyo No. 1, Gamerco, Star Lake, South Hospah, 
La Ventana, and Western Bisti Mines are expected 
to begin production by 1980, and the Alamito Mine 
by 1985. The Amcoal and Arroyo No. 1 Mines 
would deplete their reserves before 1990, leaving 
eight mines operating in 1990. 

The coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, with 
a present capacity of 676 MW, is scheduled to be 
expanded by 514 MW in 1979 and by another 514 
MW in 1981. The proposed 2,000-MW New 
Mexico Generating Station would consist of four 
units due to begin production between 1983 and 
1992. 

Due to the extensive network of local roads in 
the vicinity of the potential coal development, the 
number of" miles of additional road needed for 
access is small. Estimates for the number of miles 
of powerline expected to be developed include 
lines to supply power to the mines and lines for 
initial distribution of power from the New Mexico 
Generating Station. The projected railroad devel- 
opment includes the proposed Star Lake Railroad 
and spurs or sidings for loading coal. 

Table 1-9 shows the projected acres needed for 
these coal-related developments. The figures repre- 



sent the total acres within mine boundaries, rights- 
of-way, and for occupancy and use by coal-related 
population increases. Table I- 10 shows the project- 
ed cumulative acres disturbed and reclaimed as a 
result of development by 1990. 

Projected Water Requirements 

The total annual water requirements (including 
domestic water) for the developments from the 
proposed action are estimated to be 58,936 acre- 
feet by 1990. Of this, the largest usage-47,997 acre- 
feet per year, would be by the powerplants. The 
needs of the coal mines would be 8,763 acre-feet 
per year. Table I- 11 summarizes the projected 
water requirements by different developments. The 
water consumed would be somewhat less than the 
annual requirements. 

BASIC ANALYSIS ASSUMPTIONS 

The following assumptions are guidelines used in 
analyzing the impacts of coal and coal-related de- 
velopments in the Star Lake-Bisti ES region: 

1. Mine support facilities require 55 acres per 
mine. 

2. The following average right-of-way widths 
are required: haul roads, 65 feet; access roads, 50 
feet; railroad spur, 200 feet; 115-kv transmission 
lines, 50 feet; 230-kv transmission lines, 100 feet; 
345-kv transmission lines, 150 to 170 feet; and 500- 
kv transmission lines, 200 to 300 feet. 

3. Cut and fill slopes (with the exception of those 
associated with the Star Lake Railroad's line con- 
struction) will be reclaimed by covering with top- 
soil and seeding when construction is completed. 

4. Reclamation of a specific area will take five 
years from the end of disturbance if irrigation is 
used as needed (Gould, 1978). Reclamation will not 
occur by 1990 if irrigation is not used (National 
Academy of Science, 1974). To achieve reclama- 
tion within five years the following schedule is 
assumed: 

(a.) Grading of mine spoils and replacing top- 
soil will proceed concurrently with mining, with 
a two spoil pile safety zone between the mining 
and grading operations. Thus, grading will lag 
mining by about six months. 

(b.) Seeding can be done between May 1 and 
August 31. 

(c.) Seedbed preparation, seeding, and mulch- 
ing will be done within one year following dis- 
turbance on all areas except those mined in Feb- 
ruary, March, and April, which will be seeded 
the following year. 

(d.) Irrigation water will be applied at rates 
and frequencies necessary to assure seedling 
emergence and establishment during the year 
seeded, and at rates and frequencies necessary to 



1-24 



TABLE 1-8 
PROJECTED COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT IN THE ES REGION 



1977 



1980 


1985 


1990 


9 


10 


8 


1 


2 


2 


1,190 


2,20^ 


3,20^4 


17 


19 


19 


92 


261 


261 


11U 


11h 


114 


30 


70 

-J — 


32 



Operating Coal Mines (Number) 2/ 3 
Coal-fired Generating Stations (Number) 1/ 1 

Generating Capacity (MW) 676 

Access Roads (miles) 9 

Power Lines (miles ) 7 

Star Lake Railroad (miles) 

Railroad Spurs or Sidings (miles) 21 



± Includes existing facilities 



1-25 



TABLE 1-9 
PROJECTED ACPEAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT 



Area Within Boundaries 



1 
Surface Mines 

Underground Mines 

2 
Mine Support Facilities 

1 
Coal-fired Generating Station 

Access Roads 

Power Lines 

Star Lake Railroad 

Railroad Spurs and Sidings 

Pipelines 



Community Development 



3 



1977 



1980 



1985 



1990 



33,593 81,336 97,656 96,613 
10,510 10,510 10,510 



120 


823 


878 


878 


380 


380 


2,940 


2,940 


51 


128 


137 


137 


3 


868 


4,374 


4,374 





2,854 


2,854 


2,854 


507 


663 


672 


672 





563 


563 


563 


864 


1,987 


2,067 


2,880 



Includes existing facilities. 

Coal processing facilities, buildings, ponds, parking lots, etc, 

Housing and support facilit.es. 



1-26 



TABLE 1-10 
PROJECTED ACREAGE DISTURBED AND RECLAIMED AS A RESULT OF' COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT 







1977 
Disturbed/Rec 


,laimed 


1980 

Disturbed/Rec 


ilaimed 


1985 

Dist urbed/Rec lalmed 


1990 
Disturbed/Reclaimed 




Acres Mined 


1,571 


200 


3,044 


622 


8,904 


3. 


071 


16,291 


9. 


221 




Haul Roads 


30 





243 





516 







742 









Mine Support Facilities 


120 





822 





877 







877 









Access Roads 


38 





108 





113 







113 









2 
Power Lines 


1 





310 





729 







729 









Pipel ines ( Underground ) 








563 





563 







563 







1 

to 


Coal- fired Generating Stations 


380 





2,300 





2,300 







2,300 









Star Lake Railroad 








2,854 





2,854 


1 


,582 


2,854 


1 


,582 




Railroad Spurs and Sidings 


484 


180 


651 


180 


656 




311 


656 




313 




Community Development^ 


864 





1,987 





2,067 







2.880 









TOTAL 


3,488 


380 


12,882 


802 


19,579 


4 


,964 


28,005 


11 


,116 



Coal processing facilities, buildings, ponds, parking lots, etc. 

2 

Includes acreages involved with service roads. 

■a 

Housing and support facilities. 



Regional Analysis Proposed Actions 

assure survival during the growing season fol- 
lowing the year of seeding. 

(e.) The water used for irrigation will be of 
such quality that it contains no substances in 
concentrations that are inhibiting to seedling es- 
tablishment and plant growth. 

(f.) Established vegetation will have a mini- 
mum of two growing seasons and three winters 
under natural precipitation for adaptation. 

(g.) Seeded areas will not be grazed during 
this period. 

These assumptions are set forth here to aid the 
reader in interpreting the magnitude of anticipated 
impacts. They also provide a base for future revi- 
sions of potential impacts as development takes 
place. 



TABLE 1-11 

PROJECTED ANNUAL WATER REQUIREMENTS FOR COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT 

(acre feet) 





1977 


1980 


1985 


1990 


Coal Mines 


1,851 


3,146 


8,006 


8,763 


Generating Stations 


11,715 


14,822 


30,962 


47,997 


Star Lake Railroad 





760 


70 


70 


Pruitland Coal Load 





5 


5 


5 


Transmission Line 










Community Water Use 


429 


1,451 


1,510 


2,101 


Total 


13,995 


20,184 


40,553 


58,936 



1-28 



CHAPTER II 



DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT 



THIS CHAPTER DESCRIBES THE PHYSICAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND 
CULTURAL RESOURCE VALUES OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE ES 
REGION. THE DESCRIPTION FOCUSES ON ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS 
MOST LIKELY TO BE AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED ACTIONS AND BY 
POSSIBLE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF FEDERAL COAL RESOURCES. 
BROADER REGIONAL ASPECTS OF THE ENVIRONMENT ARE ALSO 
CONSIDERED. 



Figure U-l. — The Bisti Badlands. 



CHAPTER II 
DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT 



EXISTING ENVIRONMENT 

Geologic Setting 

Topography 

The ES Region lies within the San Juan topo- 
graphic and structural basin. The San Juan Basin is 
the eastern half of the Navajo physiographic sec- 
tion of the Colorado Plateau province of the Inter- 
montane Plateaus (Fenneman, 1931). It is a roughly 
circular area about 130 miles in the north-south 
dimension and 100 miles in width, and contains 
about 10,750 square miles. It is a topographic basin 
in that its mesas, rolling plains, badlands, and can- 
yons are lower than the surrounding mountain 
ranges, and the cuestas of the basin face outward 
and dip basin ward. 

To the north of the basin are the San Juan 
Mountains, with peaks exceeding 14,000 feet in ele- 
vation. On the east, the San Pedro Mountains rise 
to 10,264 feet. In the southeast, Mount Taylor with 
an elevation of 11,389 feet, stands above the 8,000- 
to 8,500-foot-high San Mateo Mountains and Ce- 
bolleta Mesa. The Zuni Mountains on the south 
side rise to 9,256 feet at Mount Sedgwick, and the 
higher peaks of the Chuska Mountains on the west 
range from 9,300 to 9,560 feet above sea level. The 
lowest elevations are along the San Juan River 
between Shiprock and Farmington, with the 5,000- 
foot contour crossing the river near the Hogback. 
Most of the study area is between 5,000 feet to 
7,500 feet above sea level, with local relief general- 
ly of only a few hundred feet. Map C is a contour 
map of the area. 

The Hogback monocline, a ridge of sandstone 
and the most prominent physiographic feature 
within the basin, is just outside the ES Region. It is 
present west, north, and east of the central basin 
and rises as much as 700 feet above the surround- 
ing country. A similar structure, the Nutria mono- 
cline, is present at the southwest edge of the basin 
near Gallup. 

The central part of the basin is a dissected pla- 
teau, the surface of which slopes gently west, and 
is characterized by low mesas and buttes and broad 
cuestas. Badlands (barren, colorful shale hills and 
gulleys) are notable in the Bisti area. The Conti- 
nental Divide wanders through the area in a north- 



east to northerly direction and is generally ex- 
pressed as a subdued ridge, little more prominent 
than many other ridges or mesas nearby. The prin- 
cipal streams have cut into the semiarid plateau to 
form steep-walled canyons. Numerous stabilized 
sand dunes occur on the upland plains between the 
canyons. Valleys are commonly flanked by stream 
terraces; several stream terrace levels are found 
along the San Juan and Animas Rivers. The great- 
er part of the basin is drained by the westward 
flowing San Juan River; but the southwestern part 
is drained by the Puerco River, a tributary to the 
Colorado; and the southeastern part, east of the 
Continental Divide, is drained by the Jemez River 
and the Rio Puerco, tributaries to the Rio Grande. 

The variety of landforms is intimately related to 
the geology of the area and to the forces of ero- 
sion. Mesas and ridges are held up by caps of 
sandstone, whereas the adjacent lowlands have 
formed by erosion of the softer shales. For exam- 
ple, Chacra Mesa, southeast of Chaco Canyon, is 
capped by the Cliff House Sandstone. The Menefee 
Formation, which is mostly shale, lies beneath this 
relatively thick sandstone and forms the lowlands 
and valleys. Steep-walled canyons form where the 
resistant sandstone is thick. For example, Chaco 
Canyon was formed by the incision of Chaco Wash 
through the same Cliff House Sandstone that forms 
the top of Chacra Mesa. Here this sandstone is 
more than 275 feet thick. Badlands form in thick 
shale sequences that are interbedded with thin 
lenses of sandstone. The Fruitland Formation, 
which is composed of shale, minor amounts of 
sandstone and some coal, was carved by water and 
wind into these distinctive badland shapes in the 
Bisti area (Figure II- 1). Where exposed coal beds 
have burned, the heat adjacent baked the adjacent 
rocks, turning them red or orange and adding char- 
acter to the landscape. 

Alluvium is present in canyon floors, broad 
drainage areas, and broad higher areas, which are 
not part of the present-day drainage system. Little, 
if any, farming is done in these otherwise favorable 
areas because of limited water supplies. The only 
alluvial valley that crosses the coal outcrops is 
along the San Juan River where it crosses the west 
edge of the basin. There are no plans to strip-mine 
coal in this area. 



II-l 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Near the edges of the basin, Tertiary and Quater- 
nary age volcanic activity has created prominent 
landforms, the most notable of which are Mount 
Taylor and Shiprock. The most recent activity is in 
the valley that extends eastward from Gallup 
through Grants where recent lava flows, the Mal- 
pais, and a cinder cone, El Tintero, can be seen 
from Interstate Highway 40. 

Stratigraphy 

Regional Stratigraphy 

The San Juan basin contains sedimentary rocks 
ranging from Cambrian through Holocene in age 
(Figure II-2 and Map D). The maximum known 
thickness of sedimentary rocks in the basin was 
penetrated by the El Paso Natural Gas Co. San 
Juan 29-5 Unit 50 well in the SE 1/4 sec. 7, T. 29 
N., R. 5 W„ N.M.P.M. This well, which was 
drilled to a total depth of 14,423 feet penetrated 
Precambrian rocks at a depth of 14,030 feet. 

The Paleozoic formations, chiefly marine limes- 
tones, sandstones, and shales, do not crop out in 
the ES Region, although they underlie it. They 
have been described in detail by Baars and Knight 
(1957), Parker (1961), Armstrong and Mamet 
(1977), Jentgen (1977), and Baars and Stevenson 
(1977). 

The only Paleozoic formations that might be im- 
portant to this environmental assessment are the 
Glorieta Sandstone and the San Andres Limestone. 
In places along the southern part of the San Juan 
Basin, these two formations form an aquifer capa- 
ble of yielding water for irrigation, industrial, and 
municipal use. 

The Triassic and Jurassic formations in the San 
Juan Basin are chiefly non-marine sandstones, silt- 
stones, and claystones. They have been described 
in detail by Harshbarger, Repenning, and Irwin 
(1957), O'Sullivan (1977), and Green and Pierson 
(1977). The Entrada Sandstone and the Westwater 
Canyon Member of the Morrison Formation form 
important aquifers that may be utilized by some of 
the potential coal mines. 

The formations of greatest interest to this ES are 
those of Upper Cretaceous age, which reach a total 
thickness of 6,000 feet. In addition to containing 
coal, some form important aquifers, and many con- 
tain important fossil assemblages. When these for- 
mations were deposited, the shoreline of a large 
interior sea was moving back and forth in a general 
northeast to southwest direction through what is 
now the San Juan Basin (Map II- 1). Because of this 
oscillating shoreline, the deposits vary considerably 
in thickness and lithology. Continental rocks, litto- 
ral beach deposits, and offshore marine deposits 
were laid down at the same time in different places 
in the basin. Most of the coal formed in backshore 



swamps along the seacoast. The Crevasse Canyon, 
Menefee, and Fruitland Formations are the princi- 
pal coal-bearing units. They are described in great- 
er detail in the next section. Detailed discussions of 
the Cretaceous formations have been prepared by 
Baltz (1967), Fassett (1974), Fassett and Hinds 
(1971), and Molenaar (1977b). 

The Tertiary formations consist primarily of non- 
marine sandstone and claystone. These formations, 
together with the Upper Cretaceous Fruitland For- 
mation and Kirtland Shale, form a major reference 
section for the study of fossil mammals in North 
America. Volcanic deposits formed in parts of the 
basin during middle and late Tertiary time. The 
Tertiary deposits have been described by Fassett 
(1974), Baltz (1967), and Reeside (1924). 

Since Tertiary time, the dominant geologic proc- 
esses in the San Juan Basin have been erosion and 
deposition by wind and running water. Streamlaid 
deposits of sand, gravel, silt, and clay occur along 
most of the stream courses. Deposits of wind- 
blown material, chiefly in the form of dune sand, 
are scattered through the basin. 

Coal Stratigraphy 

"Coal deposits are present in the back-shore 
facies of every one of the transgressive and regres- 
sive marine sandstones of the San Juan basin from 
the Dakota Sandstone through the Crevasse 
Canyon Formation, the Mesaverde Group, and the 
Fruitland Formation. Coal has been commercially 
mined from all of these units" (Fassett, 1976, p. 
190). In this ES Region, the Dakota Sandstone is 
not known to contain commercial coal; however, 
the other coal-bearing units do contain commercial 
coal. Most of the Upper Cretaceous coal formed in 
swamps that bordered the shore of an interior sea 
(Map II-l). Figure II-3 depicts how these swamps 
developed and were later covered by other rock 
material as the position of the shoreline shifted. 

The Crevasse Canyon Formation contains two 
coal-bearing units: the Dilco Member and the 
Gibson Member (Figure II-2). These units occur 
only in the southern part of the ES area, as shown 
on Figure II-4. The Mesaverde Group also con- 
tains two coal bearing units (Figure II-2 and Map 
II-2); these units are located in the lower and upper 
few hundred feet of the Menefee Formation and 
are informally called the "lower coal member" and 
"upper coal member" throughout most of the 
basin. In the southwest part of the basin, the lower 
coal member of the Menefee Formation is named 
the Cleary Coal Member. Part of the upper coal 
member of the Menefee has been named the "Hog- 
back Mountain Tongue" in part of the San Juan 
Basin. The Menefee crops out mainly in the south- 
ern part of the ES area, as shown on Map II-2. 



II-2 



SOUTH 



NORTH 



M.Y. 

65 



EOCENE 



PALEOCENE 



136 




SAN JOSE FM 2500" 



SUMMERVILLE FM 20-100' 



TOD1LTO LS 10-100' 



TTTTTrrTrrrTTn-rrTTTrrrrTrTTrrrrm 

LATEST DATA SUGGEST JURASSIC-TRIASS1C BOUNDARY 
IS AT BASE OF LUKACHUKAI MBR OF WINGATE SS. 



ENTRADA SS 100-250' 



nriTTiTTiWTTTT^ 

JJ LIJ Lii JJJ test ^^jjwj jjjj^g^^^^^ i 



190 



u 

vt 

CO 



LOWER . 




UPPER 



~ ~ SONSELA SS BED ZZ ZZ PETRIFIED FOREST MBR 



CHINLE FM 
700-1500' 



— — POLEO SS LENTIL ~ 



MONITOR BUTTE MBR 




' MTTTTT^fi'"r"rT"'T* i ) ^ ''i i r*r*T"rYTT w r'^r t t ttT'^t'T'T't' r* i^" rr*fyn™rT'f*rT"PrT* 

?r^MoTENKOPIFM^? 



225 



LEONARD 



YESO FM 0-500' 



DE CHELLY SS 0-600' 



I ' 

(PERMIAN CORRELATIONS AFTER D.L. BAARSI 



WOLFCAMP 



ABO FM OR LOWER CUTLER 400-2000' 
'9- 



CUTLER FACIES 



?^*^~~ — ^^-^^^yi^Qr^r ] I | T f [T m 
aniip HONAKER TRAIL FM " 




MOLENAAR, 1 977 



FIGURE 11-2. SAN JUAN BASIN TIME-STRATIGRAPHIC NOMENCLATURE CHART. 



II-3 




MAP ||- 1. PROBABLE CONFIGURATION OF NORTH AMERICAN EPEIRIC SEAWAY DURING 
DEPOSITION OF UPPER CRETACEOUS ROCKS IN THE SAN JUAN BASIN. 
'FROM FASSETT AND HINDS. 1971.) 



II-4 



STRATIGRAPHY 



iOUTHWEST 



SEA LEVEL 



NORTHEAST 




SOUTHWEST 



SEA LEVEL 



NORTHEAST 




SOUTHWEST 



NORTHEAST 




SOUTHWEST 



>» ' ! ' «» ' * ' «."• 7^S^3SrgsSZ> T~T'->-^^ swami 

»-? —.[ * -.m i ' .. • .. 'f ' .? '■ *.» « . « * .- A t* J^Jjg ■ M »» * ' 



SEA LEVEL 



MORTHEAST 



VERTICAL EXAGGERATION ABOUT X60 



m^ 






i • • . • > 


■ 




1 


• 1 





MARINE MARINE CONTINENTAL COAL 

SHALE SANDSTONE DEPOSITS 



FLUVIAL 
SANDSTONE 



Figure 1 1-3 . Diagrammatic cross sections showing the relations of the 

continental, beach, and marine deposits of the San Juan Basin 
after (A) shoreline regression, (B) shoreline stability, (C) 
shoreline transgression, and (D) shoreline regression. (After 
Fassett and Hinds, 1971.) 

II-6 




FIGURE 11-4 GENERALIZED CROSS SECTIONOF COAL BEDS NEAR GALLUP. (FROM BEAUMONT, SHOEMAKER, 
AND KOTTLOWSKI, 1971) 

II-6 



COLORADO 



Kmf 



N 

I 







30 Ml. 



SCALE 



MAP 11-2. OUTCROP OF COAL-BEARING ROCKS IN THE ES REGION 
(PATTERNED AREAS). THESE AREAS DO NOT EVERYWHERE CONTAIN 
COMMERCIAL COAL. ( K CC-C R E V AS SE CANYON FORMATION, 
KMF-MENEFEE FORMATION, KMFL-LOWER COAL-BEARING MEMBER 
OF MENEFEE FORMATION, KMFU-UPPER COAL-BEARING MEMBER 
OF MENEFEE FORMATION, KF-FRUITLAND FORMATION.) 



II-7 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Throughout most of the ES Region, the Point 
Lookout Sandstone separates the lower Menefee 
coal member (Cleary Member) from the coal bear- 
ing Gibson Member of the Crevasse Canyon For- 
mation. In the southwest part of the basin, howev- 
er, where the Point Lookout is absent, these two 
coal-bearing units come together and cannot be 
physically differentiated (Figure II-2). 

The Fruitland Formation contains by far the 
largest coal resources of the ES Region, in excess 
of 200 billion tons according to Fassett and Hinds 
(1971). Of this 200 billion tons, 7 to 10 billion tons 
may ultimately be strippable. The Fruitland Forma- 
tion is the stratigraphically highest of the Upper 
Cretaceous coal-bearing units of the San Juan 
basin, having formed as the sea made its final re- 
treat from the area. Although coal occurs through- 
out the Fruitland, the thickest coal beds are con- 
centrated in the lowermost one-third of the forma- 
tion. The Fruitland Formation crops out principal- 
ly in the central part of the ES Region, as shown 
on Map II-2. Fassett and Hinds (1971) discuss the 
Fruitland Formation in great detail and the inter- 
ested reader is directed to their report for more 
information. 

In general, the coal deposits of all the above 
mentioned coal-bearing units have the following 
similar characteristics: The thickest coal occurs ad- 
jacent to and southwest of major stratigraphic rises 
of adjacent marine strandline sandstone. The coal 
occurs in elongate tabular bodies whose long axes 
trend northwest parallel to the strandlines. Coal 
beds often intertongue with and pinch out into 
marine rocks to the northeast and grade south- 
westward into flood-plain deposits. In a relative 
sense, coal beds of the Crevasse Canyon Formation 
and the Menefee Formation are much thinner and 
are more discontinuous than are coal beds of the 
Fruitland Formation. Fruitland coal beds are com- 
monly ten to twenty feet thick and occasionally 
attain a thickness of up to forty feet. Crevasse 
Canyon and Menefee coals rarely reach ten feet in 
thickness, and more often are on the order of six 
feet or less. With only very rare exceptions, where 
the Fruitland Formation is present it contains com- 
mercial coal beds. This contrasts with the Crevasse 
Canyon and Menefee Formations which contain 
commercial coal deposits only in scattered areas. 

Structure 

The San Juan Basin is a structural depression 
bounded on four sides by uplifted parts of the 
earth's crust: on the north, the San Juan Uplift; on 
the east, the Nacimiento Uplift; on the south, the 
Zuni Uplift; on the west, the Defiance Uplift (see 
Map II-3). The basin is asymmetrical, being deepest 
in the northeast part. The structure of the basin is 



shown on the map by contour lines drawn on the 
base of the Dakota Sandstone. 

Over the southern part of the basin, the Creta- 
ceous strata dip one to two degrees. The strata are 
more steeply dipping on the flanks of the uplifts. In 
the arcuate Hogback Moncline the strata dip up to 
90 degrees and in some places on the east side are 
slightly overturned. Erosion of the upturned edge 
of the strata has resulted in prominent ridges of the 
more resistant sandstone beds (Figure II-5). 

Faulting of Cretaceous rocks is largely concen- 
trated in the southeast part of the basin between 
the Zuni and Nacimiento Uplifts. Over most of the 
rest of the region, faults are relatively rare, discon- 
tinuous, have small displacements, and usually are 
1.5 to 11 miles long. In the southeast part of the 
region, large faults from one to six miles apart are 
common. Offset on the faults shown on the geolog- 
ic map (Map D) are of the order of a few hundred 
feet. 

Geologic Hazards 

Northwest New Mexico is an area of low seis- 
micity (Map II-4). According to Algermissen and 
Perkins (1976), there is a 90-percent probability 
that ground motion from earthquakes will not 
exceed 8-percent g (acceleration of the earth's 
gravity) once in 50 years in the ES region (Map II- 
5). Below 4 percent g, the ground-shaking effects 
are controlled mainly by earthquakes with magni- 
tudes of 4.0 or less. In these regions, wind loading 
rather than earthquake acceleration is likely to 
govern the design of structures. No known histori- 
cally active faults have been reported within the 
study area. 

In the Ambrosia Lake uranium district, ground 
subsidence has occurred as a result of underground 
mining (Figure II-6). Additional collapse over old 
mine workings is possible in this area. Subsidence 
from natural causes is known only around "pipes" 
in the shale in badland areas of the Fruitland and 
Kirtland Formations. These pipes form near natural 
drainages as a result of water eroding passageways 
in the shale. Some pipes become as large as several 
feet across and two hundred feet in depth. 

The uneven erosion of the alternating sandstone 
and shales of Cretaceous age present opportunity 
for slope failures and rockfalls. These instabilities 
are greatest where the sandstones and the underly- 
ing shales are thickest, or where expansive clays 
may be alternately dried and moistened. Minor 
rock falls are common but landslides are rare. 

Alluvium is usually a low density, poorly consol- 
idated material which occurs at and near the 
ground surface, and may be subject to compacting 
when wet and while under load. It is present in 
scattered places throughout the study area, espe- 
cially in valleys and drainage ':.eas. Proper engi- 



II-8 




36 



ILES 



RAD O 37* 
MEXICO 



>ANOLA^ 6 . 



:aldera 



RQUE 



351 



MAPII-3. STRUCTURE MAP OF THE SAN JUAN BASIN, SHOWING CONTOURS 
ON THE BASE OF THE DAKOTA SANDSTONE. INTERVAL, 500 FEET. 
NUMBERS REPRESENT EXISTING OR PROJECTED ELEVATION ABOVE 
OR BELOW SEA LEVEL. 



SOURCE: SILVER, 1950, AND FASSETT & HINDS, 1971 
II-9 





Figure II-5.-- Views of Hogback Monocline. 
11-10 



COLORADO 

NEW MEXICO ! UTE 



MOUNTAIN 
I RES. 



£Z 



NAVAJO RESERVATION 



O FAIMINGTON 




• •• *J| 



STAR LAKE-BISTI ES AREA 



O CUIA 



Q GALLUP 



n 




? 




O GRANTS 



10 20 30 

-J .. ' J LEGEND: 



• EARTHQUAKE MAGNITUDE IETWEEN 4.0 AND 5.5 ON IICHTEt SCALE 



MAP 11-4. EARTHQUAKES IN NEW MEXICOWITHIN 30 MILES OF THE 
STAR LAKE-BISTI ES REGION THROUGH F E B R U A R Y, 1 9 76. 




MAP 11-5. EARTHQUAKE HAZARD TO BE 
EXPECTED. THE NUMBERED CONTOURS 
ARE THE HORIZONTAL ACCELERATION 
IN HARD ROCK EXPRESSED AS A PERCENT 
OF THE EARTH'S GRAVITY. THERE IS A 
90-PERCENT PROBABILITY THATTHESE 
VALUES WILL NOT BE EXCEEDED IN 
50 YEARS. 



FROM ALGERMISSEN & PERKINS. 1976. 



11-11 




yv< . m ■* « < t i ■!■*■ "*" ~*— *■• ^*'#' 













Figure II-6. --Subsidence crater over a uranium mine, 
sec. 22, T. 14 N., R. 10 W. 



11-12 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



neering can prevent settling of man-made struc- 
tures in these areas. 

Coal in the badland area has burned, as evi- 
denced by the brightly colored clinker. These 
burns could have resulted from lightning, grass 
fire, or spontaneous combustion. Coal exposed in 
the rest of the area has not ignited and probably 
most of it is not susceptible to ignition because the 
coal near the exposure is weathered and has lost 
much of its volatile constituents. 

The combustible gas, methane, which is some- 
times associated with coal mining, has not been 
reported in northwestern New Mexico. 

Paleontology 

The paleontological resources are summarized by 
formation on the back of Map D, which shows the 
outcrop of the fossil-bearing rocks. Complete lists 
are in Appendix B. 

Fossil resources of the San Juan Basin have been 
studied for more than a hundred years. A major 
use of these paleontological resources has been 
biostratigraphic correlation, a dating method that 
provides relative dating of rock bodies on the basis 
of their faunal content. Critical to this process is 
the designation of well-exposed, relatively undis- 
turbed sections of rock with abundant and diverse 
fossil remains. The sequential recovery of fossil 
materials within that section of rock provides a 
tool for relative dating and correlation based upon 
continual change in morphology and faunal make- 
up. One of these critical reference sections is the 
continental deposits of late Cretaceous and early 
Tertiary age along the south flank of the San Juan 
Basin. These deposits have been studied by paleon- 
tologists from around the world, and their interest 
is increasing. 

A recent survey of paleontological resources in 
the ES region by the University of New Mexico 
and Louisiana State University (Kues, et al., 1977) 
has documented the occurrence of locally plentiful 
dinosaur, mammal, reptile, paleobotanical, and in- 
vertebrate fossil materials. A total of 1,157 new 
localities were recorded, in addition to those 
known from previous studies of the Fruitland, Kirt- 
land, Ojo Alamo, and Nacimiento Formations. 
Some areas contain large numbers of fossil tree 
stumps preserved in growth position, (Figure II- 
7A), fossil logs (some more than 100 feet long) 
(Figure II-7B), and well-preserved leaf materials. 
Some vertebrate material is extraordinary, varying 
from reasonably complete articulated dinosaur skel- 
etons (Figure II-8A), to isolated teeth of primitive 
mammals (Figure II-8B). Fossil mollusc beds are 
commonly associated with these remains. The com- 
bined occurrence of such varied and well-pre- 
served forms is thought to be unique. 



With the possible exception of some fossil leaves 
and invertebrates, fossil materials appear to be con- 
centrated in or near coarse, clastic sediments of 
ancient stream channels, now preserved as lenticu- 
lar sandstones. These units are concentrated some- 
what above the base of the Fruitland Formation 
and randomly scattered within the Kirtland Shale. 
The distinct separability of these two units de- 
creases substantially in observable outcroppings 
from the Navajo Reservation boundary eastward to 
Star Lake, where the units become inseparable. A 
second concentration of fossil material, again asso- 
ciated with ancient stream channels, appears in the 
uppermost part of the Kirtland Shale. This increase 
in coarse clastic content has been part of a long- 
standing controversy over rock- and time-stratigra- 
phic boundaries involving the Kirtland Shale, Ojo 
Alamo Sandstone, and Nacimiento Formation (Fas- 
sett, 1973, Rigby & Lucas, 1977). These uppermost 
sandstone units of the Kirtland Shale or basal units 
of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone contain the last 
record of dinosaurs in the San Juan Basin. The 
final occurrence of dinosaur materials is the classi- 
cal sign used to mark the ending of the Mesozoic 
Era and the beginning of the Cenozic Era, the Age 
of Mammals. The San Juan Basin is one of the few 
places in the world where this transition can be 
studied. 

A survey of the Nacimiento Formation produced 
many rare finds. These include a complete skull of 
Claenodon ferox, the best of its kind in existence, 
and a nearly complete skeleton of Anisonchus gil- 
lianus, the only one of its kind and one of the best- 
preserved early mammal skeletons known (Figure 
II-9A and B). 

The marine section of the Cretaceous also has 
produced a number of stratigraphically significant 
studies. The San Juan Basin has been a favored 
area for stratigraphic work; this interest in strati- 
graphy has generated collections of primarily 
marine invertebrates. These collections have served 
to document the occurrence of fossils in the area 
and provide a base for biostratigraphic correlation 
with other Cretaceous deposits in the West. At 
present, there have not been sufficient numbers of 
fossils found, nor has the quality of known materi- 
als been adequate to construct a major reference 
section, even though the stratigraphic section is 
exceptionally well exposed. 

Pre-Cretaceous units of paleontological impor- 
tance include the continental Triassic Chinle For- 
mation and Jurassic Morrison Formation. Expo- 
sures of these formations in the ES Region are 
minor and have produced very little fossil material. 
However, to the east of the study area near Ghost 
Ranch, New Mexico, the Chinle Formation has 
produced notable Coelophysis material. The Morri- 
son Formation is well known for its dinosaur mate- 



11-13 




Figure II-7A. --Fossil tree stump. 




Figure II-7B. --Fossil log. 
11-14 




'■»vm 







. Ai 



Figure II-8A. — Articulated partial hadrosaur skeleton from 

the Fruitland Formation. 




Figure II-8B. — Upper jaw fragment of Qxyacodon priscilla (left) from basal 

Nacimiento Formation (Puercan) ; Tetraclaenodon sp. (right) from upper Ojo Alamo 

Sandstone exposed along Betonnie Tsosie Wash; JDoth from San Juan Basin, New Mexico. 



11-15 




Figure II-9A. — Side and top view of Claenodon ferox skull 
from the Nacimiento Formation. 




Figure II-9B. — Lower jaw of Anisonchus gillianus skeleton 
found near Betonnie Tsosie Arroyo. 



11-16 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



rial. Limited remains have been reported from 
New Mexico, but the wealth of material recovered 
in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming strongly suggest a 
potential for significant finds in New Mexico. Ex- 
posures of the Morrison Formation in the ES 
Region are limited to the southern and eastern 
boundary. 

Mineral Resources 

In 1974, New Mexico ranked eighth among the 
50 states in value of mineral production. The state 
is among the leaders in production of natural gas, 
natural gas liquids, potash and uranium. New 
Mexico owes its leadership, at least in part, to 
production of those commodities (except potash) in 
the northwestern part of the State. The northwest 
accounts for about 20 percent of the State's mineral 
income. The mineral commodities from this area 
producing the most income are natural gas, natural 
gas liquids, oil, uranium, and coal (Tables II- 1 and 
II-2, and Map B). 

Mineral industry in the ES Region is not readily 
separable from the mineral industry of the larger 
four-county area of northwestern New Mexico; oil 
and gasfields, mining districts, and even an individ- 
ual coal mine lie partly in and partly outside the 
ES Region. Moreover, production and other statis- 
tical data frequently are available only on a 
county-by-county basis. While this section of the 
document focuses on mineral industry in the ES 
Region, it includes data about the larger four- 
county area as well. 

The ES Region is estimated to produce about 
two-thirds of the mineral income of the four- 
county area. The region produces about 70 percent 
of the oil and gas, about 50 percent of the uranium 
and construction materials, and about 20 percent of 
the coal. 

The minerals industry uses an estimated 20,000 
acres (0.4 percent of the ES Region) to the virtual 
exclusion of other types of land use. In addition, a 
much larger area is held under lease or claim be- 
cause this land may be underlain by one or more 
mineral resources (Table II-3). Although large 
parts of the ES Region are geologically favorable 
for a variety of mineral resources, it is most likely 
that no more than a tiny fraction of this acreage 
contains recoverable mineral resources or will ever 
be mined. Chapter I contains more information 
about other mineral developments in northwestern 
New Mexico. 

Coal 

Anderson (1978, p. 32) reports that the San Juan 
Basin contains 6.3 billion tons of strippable coal. 
About 20 percent of this would be lost during 
mining and preparation, leaving about 5 billion tons 
of coal that could be utilized. It is estimated that 1 



ton of this coal is equivalent to approximately 2.7 
barrels of oil or 1 7,000 cubic feet of natural gas. It 
has been proposed to mine coal from the Crevasse 
Canyon, Menefee, and Fruitland Formations in the 
ES Region. 

In the Crevasse Canyon Formation relatively 
small amounts of coal were produced from under- 
ground mines near Gallup until the railroads 
switched to diesel locomotives. Nearly all these 
mines are now abandoned. A small strip mine, the 
Sundance Mine (now Amcoal), southeast of 
Gallup, has been in production sporadically over 
the past few years. Because of the lack of subsur- 
face control, no reliable figures on coal resources 
are available for Crevasse Canyon coal. 

Small underground coal mines in the Menefee 
Formation have operated around the northern, 
southwestern and southeastern rim of the central 
basin. Most of these mines are now abandoned; the 
one or two mines still operating furnish coal only 
for local domestic heating. The total coal resources 
in the Menefee Formation have not yet been deter- 
mined. 

One large strip mine, the Pittsburg and Midway 
Co. McKinley Mine, is now producing coal from 
the lower Menefee Formation and upper Crevasse 
Canyon Formation. This mine, which is in New 
Mexico just east of Window Rock, Arizona, ships 
about one million tons of coal a year. Most of this 
coal goes to the Arizona Public Service Company's 
Cholla Plant. The rest goes to several industries in 
the southwest. The mine is being expanded at pres- 
ent, and coal from the expanded production will 
form a partial coal supply for the Salt River Pro- 
ject's Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns, 
Arizona. Reserves for the mine are estimated at 
around 150 million tons. 

The greatest reserves of coal are found in the 
Fruitland Formation, the youngest commercial 
coal-bearing formation in the San Juan Basin. Fas- 
sett and Hinds (1971, p. 68) state: "...it was deter- 
mined that approximately 6,250 square miles within 
the area of the San Juan Basin is underlain by coal 
beds of the Fruitland Formation and that the beds 
contain an aggregate of about 200 billion tons of 
coal. Owing to the regional nature of this study 
and the methods used in estimating the coal re- 
sources, the results are considered to be 'inferred 
by zone' rather than 'measured' or 'indicated' as 
defined by Averitt (1961)." 

With the exception of a small area in the south- 
east part, nearly all the outcrop of the Fruitland in 
the region contains commercially strippable coal. 
The coal is also widespread in the subsurface. Map 
II-6, an isopach map of the total thickness of coal 
in the Fruitland Formation (Fassett and Hinds, 
1971, p. 53), shows the distribution of the Fruitland 
coal throughout the basin. The thickest coal, up to 



11-17 



Table II- 1 

VALUE AND TYPE OF MINERAL PRODUCTION IN NORTHWESTERN NEW MEXICO, 1965-75 

(thousands of dollars) 



County 



1965 1966 1967 1/ 1968 1969 1970 1971 



1972 



Minerals produced in Other minerals 
1973 197** 1975 1975 in order of value produced 1925-75 



McKinley 33,090 33,226 76,051 72,6-4 54,785 70,958 71,301 72,777 75,716 119,873 138,527 Uranium, natural gas Clays 

liquids, oil, coal, 
natural gas, stone, 
sand & gravel, vanadium, 
molybdeonum 

Rio Arriba 13,898 12,339 13,720 15,070 14,164 16,052 36,563 43,666 52,992 72, 236 87,921 Natural gas, oil, Mica (scrap), 

natural gas liquids, copper, silver, 

stone, sand & feldspar 
gravel, pumice 

2 Sandoval 782 1,034 801 976 715 829 2,836 8,544 12,384 11,005 3,677 Oil, stone, natural Copper, coal, peat, 
00 gas, gypsum, sand & silver, zinc, clays 

gravel, pumice, . 



San Juan 95,471 105,119 119,552 109,478 115,863 102,934 93,571 110,747 130,860 186,988 212,313 Natural gas , oil , 

coal, natural gas 
liquids, sand & 
gravel, stone, pumice, 
clays 



Uranium, vanadium, 
helium 



Total 143,241 151,718 210,124 198,158 185,527 190,773 204,274 235, 73^ 271,952 390,102 442,438 



Source: U. S. Bureau of Mines data. 



1/ 



Method of reporting changed from f.o.b. mine value of uranium ore to f.o.b. mill value uranium oxide. 



tMtottAMMAu 



D Jta^ M (j^l MMM ^ Aa i 



Table II-2 
SELECTED MINERAL PRODUCTION IN NORTHWESTERN NEW MEXICO, 1970-75 



Commodity 


1970 


1971 


1972 


1973 


1974 


1975 


Bituminous Coal (short tons) 


W 


7,198,000 


7,218,000 


8,145,000 


8,501,000 


W 


Natural Gas (million cubic feet) 

t— i 
■ 


524,997 


576,891 


586,334 


550,118 


547,393 


518,546 


Crude Oil & Condensates 
(42-gallon barrels) 


8,688,000 


8,815,000 


8,605,000 


7,570,000 


8,002,000 


6,479,000 


Sand and Gravel (short tons) 


1,745,000 


W 


2,305,000 


2,545,000 




NA 


NA 



Sources: U.S. Bureau of Mines data; New Mexico, Oil Conservation Commission, 1970-73; 
New Mexico Oil and Gas Engineering Committee, 1974-75. 

Key: 

W - Withheld to avoid disclosing individual company confidential data. 

NA - Not Available. 



Table II-3 

1/ 2/ 

MINERAL LEASES, PERMITS, AND CLAIMS IN THE ES REGION ~ - 



Type of Mineral Right Acreage 

Oil and gas lease (Federal and State) 4,290,000 (estimate) 
Uranium lease on allotted Indian land 42,8l8 

Federal uranium prospecting permit 62,670 

Federal uranium prospecting permit applications 54,202 
State Trust Lands (uranium) 257,037 



Source: Compiled from ELM and USGS records and from Connie Mall 
Mining and Oil Lease Service, Denver, Colorado. 

_ ' Excludes coal: acreage cannot be added for a total figure because 



2/ 



of overlap. 

Most public land south and west of the outcrop of the Fruitland 
Formation is covered with mining claims for locatable materials 
(e.g. , uranium) . 



11-20 



R15V/I 14 I 1 3 I 1 2 l/ 11 I 1 9 8 7 

MONTEZUMA /' LA PLATA 




37 



36 



COLORADO 



NEW MEXICO 



5 10 15 20 

''■'■' I ' ' MILES 



|R16W| 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 I 8 7 | 6 1 5 i 4 



| 2 | R1W |R1E 



MAP 11-6. ISOPACH MAP OF TOTAL COAL THICKNESS IN THE FRUITLAND 
FORMATION. INTERVAL, 10 FEET. (FROM FASSETT AND HINDS, 1971.) 

11-21 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



70 feet, occurs in a northwest-trending band across 
the deepest part of the basin. Along the outcrop in 
the southwest part of the basin there is an area 
underlain by 30 to 40 feet of coal. 

Operating coal mines in the Fruitland Formation 
and mine-mouth power plants are now in operation 
on the Utah International and Western Coal Co. 
leases. Utah's Navajo Mine produces seven million 
tons of coal per year, which is sold directly to the 
Arizona Public Service Company's Four Corners 
Power Plant. Western Coal Co. is now producing 
over one million tons per year, which will increase 
to four million tons per year when all the planned 
generating units at the New Mexico Public Service 
Company's San Juan Generating Station are com- 
pleted. Coal gasification plants proposed for the 
Utah International and El Paso Natural Gas leases 
are discussed in the Interrelationships section of 
Chapter I. 

Coal quality. Heating values for the Crevasse 
Canyon and Menefee coals range from 8,000 to 
12,000 Btu per pound, whereas Fruitland coals 
have a slightly lower range. In general, Fruitland 
coals have a higher ash content than the Crevasse 
Canyon and Menefee coals. Sulfur content for all 
the coals of the region is low, ranging from 0.5 
percent to 1.5 percent, and averaging around 0.6 to 
0.7 percent. The rank of the coals varies from 
medium- to high- volatile sub-bituminous to 
medium- to high-volatile bituminous. 

Trace element analysis. Because of the tremen- 
dous volumes of coal being burned in power plants, 
even those elements found in the coal in very small 
or trace amounts can have an effect on the envi- 
ronment. Very few trace element analyses have 
been made on Crevasse Canyon and Menefee coal; 
however, a representative trace element analysis 
from the McKinley Mine is shown on Table II-4. 
Many more trace element analyses are available for 
the Fruitland coal. According to Swanson, et al. 
(1976), the major components in the ash from the 
Four Corners Power Plant are (K 2 0), (CaO), (MgO), 
(AI2O3), (Si0 2 ), (Na 2 0), and (Fe 2 3 ). "Many various 
elements, including antimony, arsenic, fluorine, 
mercury, selenium, tellurium, uranium, and zinc are 
enriched in the fly ash . . .". (Swanson, et al., 1976, 
p. 15). Trace element analyses for coal, bottom ash, 
fly ash, and effluent from the Four Corners Power 
Plant are shown on Figure 11-10. 

Oil and Gas 

A brief history of oil and gas exploration and 
development in the San Juan Basin has been writ- 
ten by Pritchard (1972). Map B shows the oil and 
gas fields and related production facilities. 

Notable producing formations in the area are the 
Farmington Sandstone Member of the Kirtland 
Shale, Pictured Cliffs, Cliff House, and Point 



Lookout Sandstones, Mancos Shale, and Dakota 
Sandstone, all of Late Cretaceous age, the Hermosa 
and Paradox Formations of Pennsylvanian age, and 
the Ouray Limestone of Devonian age. The magni- 
tude of any conflict between extraction of oil and 
gas and mining of coal is not known at this time, 
although it is normal for resources to be recovered 
sequentially from the same place. 

Uranium 

New Mexico's known uranium deposits and un- 
discovered potential reserves (Table II-5) are ex- 
pected to enable the state to maintain its position as 
the Nation's principal source of uranium for years 
to come. 

Uranium deposits in New Mexico occur in rocks 
of many geologic ages and lithologic types. The 
most important uranium mineralization occurs in 
bedded fluvial sandstones of the Jurassic-age Mor- 
rison Formation. These sandstones are 1,000 feet or 
more stratigraphically lower than the minable coal 
deposits of the San Juan Basin. 

A cluster of large uranium deposits in McKinley 
and Valencia Counties constitute the Grants Miner- 
al Belt, the most productive uranium area in the 
United States (Map B). The Grants Mineral Belt, 
which is within and adjacent to the study area, 
comprises several contiguous mining districts that 
form a belt of uranium deposits more than 85 miles 
in length. The Ambrosia Lake district, which leads 
in production, extends from the Church Rock area 
northeast to San Mateo, west of the Mount Taylor 
volcanic area. Production is primarily from the 
Brushy Basin and Westwater Canyon Members of 
the Morrison Formation with some small produc- 
tion coming from the Todilto Limestone and the 
Dakota Sandstone. The Entrada and Summerville 
Formations also produce, but only in conjunction 
with mineralized areas of the Todilto Limestone 
(Chenoweth, 1977). 

Humates 

Large amounts of humate, a black acidic organic 
matter, are associated with the coal in northwest- 
ern New Mexico (Map II-7). If the underclay asso- 
ciated with the mined coal beds is usable humate- 
rich soil conditioner, and averages 1.5 feet thick, 
then about 10 million tons of humate will be ex- 
posed as a result of strip mining each year (Sho- 
maker and Hiss, 1974). Humates from New Mexico 
are sold to the agricultural industry in several 
states as a soil conditioner. The market value is 
high compared to other products such as sand, 
gravel and pumice. The value of humate as a soil 
conditioner, however, has not been conclusively 
demonstrated. 



11-22 



Table II-4 
TRACE ELEMENT ANALYSES OP COAL FROM THE MCKINLEY MINE 



Sample 




Ash 
(Percent) 


AS 
(ppm) 


F 
(ppm) 


HO 
(ppm) 


SR 
(ppm) 


SE 
(ppm) 


TE 
(ppm) 


TL 
(ppm) 


EU 
(ppm) 


• U 
(ppm) 


D152736C 




9.04 


2. 


50. L 


0.01 


1.16 


2.30 


0.02L 


0.20L 


10. L 


0.91 


D152737C 




8.64 


2. 


60. 


0.01 


1.16 


2.40 


0.02L 


0.20L 


10. L 


0.58 


D152736C 




8.60 


2. 


70. 


0.02 


1.03 


2.60 


0.02L 


0.20L 


10. L 


0.92 


D152739C 




9.72 


2. 


60. 


0.03 


1.76 


2.10 


0.02L 


0.20L 


10. L 


1.19 


Source : 


Swans on, 1972 





















B Notes : 



to 

CO 



ppm, parts per million. 
L, less than value given. 
EU, equivalent uranium. 



Table II-5 

URANIUM RESOURCES IN NEW MEXICO 
(short tons Uo 0g) 



Reserves 



465,500 



Probable Resources 
483,300 



Source: Ridgloy, et al., 1978. 



Possible Resources 



598,900 



to 



I0,000r— 



1000 



o 

_l 
-J 

I 

LD 

a. 

tn 

h- 

< 
a. 



100 



10 — 



0.1 



0.01 



I 



I DRY COAL 
[ | BOTTOM ASH 

ESJ FLY ASH 

EFFLUENT 



NOT ANALYZED 
LESS THAN VALUE 



a. 



1 



Ti Ba 



B Sr Zr Mn 



Li Cu Zn 



Pb Cr 



As 



So 



Mo 



Co 



Bo 



Sb 



Hg 



ELEMENTS 



FIGURE 11-10. ELEMENTAL CO 
POWER PLANT. 



NENTS OF C 



D STACK PRODUCTS OF FOUR CORNERS 



106° 



COLORADO 



NEW 
MEXICO 




-37° 



-36'- 



-35< 



SCALE, i , 



10 20 30 40 50 

MAP 11-7. LOCATIONS OF HUMATE MINES AND AREAS LIKELY TO 
CONTAIN COMMERCIAL HUMATE DEPOSITS IN THE 
SAN JUAN BASIN. 



11-25 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Other Minerals 

Mineral resources other than coal, oil and gas, 
uranium, and humate that occur in the Star Lake- 
Bisti Region are of less economic interest at the 
present time than the above. Sand and gravel are 
found in alluvial valley bottoms, on elevated 
stream terraces, and near rivers and washes; these 
resources have a minor economic value unless they 
are located near a ready market. The Todilto 
Limestone is used in limited quantities at Gallup 
for concrete aggregate mixtures, and it has been 
used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for road 
gravel. Other commercial mineral resources are 
bentonite found near Grants, Gallup, and Thoreau; 
perlite, pumice, and volcanic ash found at Grants 
Ridge; building stone found northeast of 
Bluewater; molybdenum and vanadium recovered 
as by-products from uranium ore processing; clays 
found near Gallup; and some "red bed" copper and 
silver occurring near Cuba. Volcanic rock material 
used in landscaping, and other rock materials used 
in ornamental stone work, are in ample supply to 
meet existing needs for many years. 

CLIMATE 

The general climate of the Star Lake-Bisti ES 
Region is semi-arid mesothermic continental, with 
variations resulting from the effects of elevation 
and topography. 

Temperature 

Temperatures vary considerably in the region 
with respect to season and location. Seasonal tem- 
perature averages for selected sites are given in 
Table II-6. Average temperatures within the region 
vary markedly with elevation. Mountainous areas 
have much cooler temperatures than the locations 
shown in the table. 

July is the warmest month; maximum tempera- 
tures of 90°F or above are common at the lower 
elevations, with mountain temperatures generally 
10°F to 15°F cooler. January is the coldest month, 
when daily minimum temperatures below freezing 
are common throughout the region and subzero 
temperatures occur in mountainous areas. 

The length of the growing season in the ES 
Region ranges from 120 to 150 days. Freeze dates 
depend on large-scale meteorological conditions, 
elevation, and terrain. For the region as a whole, 
the final spring freeze generally occurs by mid- 
May and the earliest fall freeze usually occurs 
around October 1st. Drainageways experience the 
shortest growing season, because cold night air 
seeks the lowest elevation, resulting in pockets of 
cold air in valleys and canyons. 



Precipitation 

Annual precipitation within the Star Lake-Bisti 
ES Region varies according to topography. The 
higher elevations in the northeast and southwest 
receive the most rainfall (Map II-8). The maximum 
monthly precipitation occurs during the summer; 
the minimum monthly precipitation occurs during 
the winter. 

Snowfall amounts within the region are distribut- 
ed in a pattern similar to that of rainfall (Map II-9). 
The snow season over northwestern New Mexico 
extends from November through March, with the 
maximum snowfall occurring during December or 
January. 

The mean annual class-A pan evaporation for the 
Star Lake-Bisti ES Region ranges from 60 inches in 
the northeast to 75 inches in the southwest, of 
which about 73 percent occurs from May to Octo- 
ber. 

Annual relative humidities in the region average 
40 to 60 percent. Higher relative humidities occur 
at higher elevations, where average temperatures 
are lower. The most humid month is January, and 
the lowest relative humidities occur in May and 
June. Relative humidities are highest near sunrise, 
when the coolest temperatures occur, and lowest in 
the early afternoon, when temperatures are high. 

There are 15 to 40 fogs per year in the Star 
Lake-Bisti ES Region. Approximately half this 
annual total occurs during the winter, with virtual- 
ly no fog during the summer. Fall and spring each 
account for approximately one-fourth of the fog 
occurrences. Extremely heavy fogs with a visibility 
of a quarter mile or less occur about five times per 
year, mostly during the winter. 

The region experiences thunderstorms on ap- 
proximately 45 days. Some of these thunderstorms 
may be severe enough to produce hail or tornados, 
but tornados are uncommon. Damages from hail- 
storms are many times greater than tornado-related 
damages. Hailstorms occur most frequently during 
afternoon hours in the spring and summer. Six hail- 
storms occur in an average year, half or more 
during the growing season. 

Widespread flooding is uncommon in New 
Mexico. However, local flash flooding is fairly 
common during the summer months as a result of 
heavy thunderstorms. 

Insolation 

The Star Lake-Bisti ES Region receives 70 per- 
cent of potential sunshine during the year. The 
region receives 80 percent of potential sunshine 
during June and 60 percent during December. On 
the average, 3,100 hours of sunshine are recorded 
in the region during the year. 

The seasonal and annual cloud cover is fairly 
sparse. Winter brings the greatest total sky cover. 



11-26 



Table II-6 

4PERATURES 
LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE STAR LAKE-BISTI ES REGION 



AVERAGE SEASONAL TEMPERATURES (°F) FOR SELECTED 



►— 1 


Season 


Zuni 


Gallup 


Farmington 


Grants 


Albuquerque 


to 
-J 


December-February 


32 


27 


28 


29 


35 




March-May 


48 


46 


50 


51 


55 




June-August 


69 


68 


72 


69 


76 




September-November 


49 


48 


51 


50 


55 



Source: Radian Corp., 1977b. 



L1.N, LlN, Lix 



COLORADO 




-—8 LINE OF EQUAL ANNUAL PIICIHTATION 

MAP 11-8. ANNUAL PRECIPITATION (IN INCHES) FOR THE 
STAR LAKE-BISTIES REGION. (RADIAN, 1977 b.) 



11-28 



COLORADO 




SOURCE, RADIAN CORP. , 1 977h . 



LEGEND. 



LINE OF EQUAL ANNUAL SNOWFALL 



STAI LAKE-IISTI ES IEGION 



MAP 11-9. ANNUAL SNOWFALL (IN INCHES) FOR THE STAR LAKE- 
SISTI ES AREA. 



11-29 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



September has the fewest clouds, but June receives 
the greatest amount of solar radiation because of 
the decreasing solar elevations after the Summer 
Solstice. The mean daily solar radiation during the 
year is 503 langleys, with the monthly mean rang- 
ing from 260 langleys during December to 700 
langleys during June. 

Wind 

Annual wind roses for Zuni, Gallup, Farming- 
ton, Grants, and Albuquerque are given in Figures 
11-11 to 11-15. These wind roses show the effect of 
local topography on wind flow. For example, the 
Farmington annual wind rose shows a prevailing 
westerly flow. Synoptic influences cause part of 
this wind-flow pattern. However, east-northeasterly 
flow can be attributed to cold air that drains 
downslope during the night from higher terrain to 
the east. During the day, air at the surface is 
heated and moves upslope; thus, the wind tends to 
become westerly. 

Wind speeds are highest during the spring 
months, due to strong pressure gradients associated 
with low pressure systems. Winds are lightest 
during the winter months. 

The winds between 5,000 and 10,000 feet above 
mean sea level are fairly uniform throughout the 
year. In the western half of the region, winds at 
the 10,000-foot level are primarily from the south- 
west and west-southwest, whereas in the eastern 
half of the region, winds at the 10,000-foot level 
are commonly from the west, west-northwest, and 
northwest. Average wind speed at 10,000 feet is 
about 20 knots. Calms are rare and winds greater 
than 40 knots are common during the winter and 
spring. Such strong upper-level winds almost 
always have a westerly component. 

Upper-level wind information serves two useful 
purposes. It facilitates studies of the long-range 
transport of pollutants, especially particulates. Fur- 
thermore, the 700-millibar upper-level wind roses 
are a good approximation of wind flow at eleva- 
tions above 8,000 feet when surface wind data are 
lacking. 

Local or mesoscale circulation, generated by 
such terrain features as valleys, canyons, gulches, 
draws, hills, and mountains, complicate the wind 
field and cause significant deviations from the syn- 
optic-scale wind field in parts of the ES Region. 
Uneven cooling of the air results in downslope 
drainage of cold, dense air during relatively calm, 
clear nights. On fair, relatively calm days, the heat- 
ing of valley walls and hills causes air to flow 
upslope and out of the valleys. These terrain-in- 
duced circulations are common among the complex 
topography in the northeastern, southern, and 
southwestern sections of the region. 



Complex terrain can affect wind fields even 
during periods of strong wind. Air is channelled 
upslope or downslope by valleys and canyons, re- 
gardless of the prevailing wind. Surface wind 
speeds are increased by this channelling effect 
when the prevailing wind direction parallels the 
valley or canyon and they will be decreased by all 
other patterns of flow. This channelling phenom- 
enon is confined primarily to the northeastern, 
southern and southwestern sections of the region. 

Mixing heights and transport winds in the Star 
Lake-Bisti ES Region have seasonal and diurnal 
variation. Generally, mixing heights are higher in 
the afternoon than in the morning. Seasonally, 
morning mixing heights are lowest during winter 
months, due to radiation inversions, and afternoon 
mixing heights are greatest during the summer 
months. 

Ventilation values are highest in the spring be- 
cause of the strong transport winds and lowest 
during the winter because of long nights and short 
days, snow cover, and persistent high pressure sys- 
tems. 

Pollution Dispersion Potential 

Restricted pollution dispersion occurs through- 
out the year, most frequently during the winter, 
summer, and fall. This results from topographical 
and meteorological factors that are synoptic (large- 
scale), regional, or local in nature. 

Terrain-induced circulation affects the dispersion 
of low-level pollutant emissions. Downslope drain- 
age hinders dispersion of low-level emissions be- 
cause pollutants become trapped and are concen- 
trated by the stable drainage flow. Upslope flow 
aids dispersion by increasing the wind speed in an 
otherwise calm situation, as well as increasing ver- 
tical transport and horizontal mixing. The channel- 
ling phenomenon discussed in the preceding sec- 
tion, can also be important in the dispersion of low- 
level emissions. 

Synoptic meteorological factors combine with 
large-scale topographical factors to cause restricted 
dispersion that may persist for several days, par- 
ticularly during the fall and winter. This occurs 
when a high pressure system becomes stationary in 
the Four Corners area, causing light winds, low 
mixing heights, and trapping of cold air in the 
basins and on the plateau between mountain ranges. 
In such a situation, air stagnation can persist until a 
cold front moves through. 

Trapping of pollutants by an inversion is intensi- 
fied by local downslope circulations in sheltered 
valleys or canyons. Inversion combined with noc- 
turnal downslope circulation restricts early morn- 
ing dispersion of pollutants, even in shallow val- 
leys. Such inversions normally dissipate rapidly 



11-30 



iiiiiiimmiiiii— iMiia ii _ : 



t 

N 



19.13 



15.55 




19.61 



PERCENT CALMS-2 1.63 



FIGURE 11-11. ANNUAL WIND ROSE FOR 

ZUNI, NEW MEXICO, 1969-1972 



4.87 



PERCENT CALMS-38.20 



9.65 



5. 1 



16.15 




WIND SPEED 
(KNOTS) 




1 PERCENT 



SOURCE: RADIAN. 1 977b. 



8.37 



FIGUREII-12. ANNUAL WIND ROSE FOR 

GALLUP, NEW MEXICO, 1973-1975 



11-31 




PERCENT CALMS-24.02 



FIGURE 11-13. ANNUAL WIND ROSE FOR FARMINGTON. 
NEW MEXICO. 1959-1 967. 



t 




PERCENT CALMS- 1 1 .67 



FIGURE 11-14. ANNUAL WIND ROSE FOR GRANTS. 
NEW MEXICO. 1953-1954. 



WIND SPEED 
(KNOTS) 





5 1 PERCENT 



SOURCE: RADIAN. 1 9 7 7b. 



PERCENT CALMS- 1 .67 



FIGURE 11-15. ANNUAL WIND ROSE FOR ALBUQUERQUE, 
NEW MEXICO. 1969-1975. 



11-32 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



during the later morning, resulting in adequate dis- 
persion during the afternoon. 

The ES Region contains several potential 
airsheds where pollutants may collect or where 
dispersion is limited. Downslope circulations will 
affect all of these potential airsheds. Deep, stable 
inversions combine with downslope air drainages 
to concentrate low-level emissions within an 
airshed and inhibit the dispersion of pollutants until 
afternoon. The primary airsheds in the region are: 
Gobernador Canyon, Canon Largo, Cereza 
Canyon, the San Juan River Valley, Chaco 
Canyon, Pueblo Pintado Canyon, and the Puerco 
River Valley (Map 11-10). On a larger scale, much 
of the plateau northwest of the Continental Divide 
to the Farmington area can be construed as a me- 
soscale airshed. 

AIR QUALITY 

The Star Lake-Bisti ES Region is primarily rural 
except for the towns of Gallup and Farmington. 
The main industrial and commerical development 
exists in these two urban areas. The analysis of 
regional air quality indicates that, although the 
towns are not large, their total suspended particu- 
late (TSP) concentrations significantly differ from 
the rural areas. Therefore, to assess existing air 
quality and calculate background concentrations of 
TSP, the region was divided into three rural subar- 
eas (north, central, and south) and two urban cen- 
ters (Gallup and Farmington). The three subareas 
are illustrated in Map 11-11. 

All air-quality data for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen 
dioxide, and carbon monoxide for the region were 
collected in the north subarea, which contains the 
Four Corners and San Juan generating stations and 
the greatest population density. When appropriate, 
background concentrations of gaseous pollutants 
calculated from the northwest subarea data were 
assumed to be representative of the other rural 
subareas. Monitoring data for the rural and urban 
areas and the calculated background concentration 
for the rural subareas are presented in Appendix 
Tables B-6 and B-7, respectively. 

Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) 

North Subarea 

Ambient particulate concentrations were meas- 
ured at Aztec, Kirtland, Shiprock, and the El Paso 
Natural Gas Plant during 1975 and 1976. Neither 
Federal nor State standards for annual average 
concentrations were violated in 1975. However, in 
1976 TSP concentrations exceeded the mean 
annual Federal secondary and State standards of 60 
micrograms per cubic meter (u-g/m 3 ), and at Kirt- 
land the TSP concentrations violated the mean 
annual Federal primary standard. 



Increased TSP concentrations between 1975 and 
1976 were also observed for the 24-hour concentra- 
tions. In 1975, the Federal secondary and State 
standards were exceeded only at Aztec. In 1976, 
the average 24-hour TSP concentrations exceeded 
Federal secondary and State standards at all sta- 
tions and the Federal primary standards at Shi- 
prock and the El Paso Natural Gas Plant. 

The annual average background concentration 
for total suspended particulates assumed for the 
subarea is 53 fig/m 3 . The 24-hour average back- 
ground is assumed to be the same value. The maxi- 
mum impact of the proposed actions on air quality 
is not anticipated to occur at the same location or 
for the same meteorological conditions as the maxi- 
mum 24-hour concentrations resulting from existing 
emissions. 

Central Subarea 

The one year of air quality data available for 
Star Lake is used to characterize the TSP air qual- 
ity in the central rural subarea. The annual mean 
concentration was less than one half of the Federal 
secondary and State air quality standard. The maxi- 
mum 24-hour average of the TSP concentrations 
was below the Federal primary standard, but ex- 
ceeded the Federal secondary and State standards. 
The background TSP concentrations assumed for 
the annual mean and 24-hour average is 27 u-g/m 3 . 

South Subarea 

The rural monitoring station in the southern part 
of the ES Region is Zuni. The annual mean 24- 
hour TSP concentrations in 1975 and 1976 were 
less than the Federal secondary and State stand- 
ards. The annual mean and 24-hour average TSP 
concentration assumed as the background concen- 
tration is 32 /xg/m 3 . 

Farmington 

The annual and 24-hour average TSP concentra- 
tions measured in Farmington in 1976 indicate that 
the Federal primary, the Federal secondary, and 
the New Mexico air quality standards were violat- 
ed. The Federal secondary and State standards 
were violated in 1975. 

Gallup 

In Gallup, the 1975 and 1976 annual TSP con- 
centrations violated the Federal primary air quality 
standards. The Federal secondary and State stand- 
ards were violated for 24-hour averaging periods. 

Sulfur Dioxide <S0 2 ) 

The 1976 annual average S0 2 concentrations in 
the north rural subarea were 0.012 parts per million 
(ppm) or less. The maximum 24-hour average con- 
centrations range from 0.003 ppm in 1975 at Shi- 



11-33 




SOURCE:RADIAN, 1977b- 



LEGEND 



1 

2 
3 

4 
5 
6 
7 

D 



GOBERNADOR CANYON 

CEREZA CANYON 

CANON LARGO 

SAN JUAN RIVER VALLEY 

CHACO CANYON 

PUEBLO PINTADO CANYON 

PUERCO RIVER VALLEY 

MESOSCALE AIRSHED 

MAP 11-10. AIR SHEDS IN THE ESREGION 



11-34 



/ 




COLORADO 



NEW MEXICO 



c 



I 






It 



CENTRAL SUB AtfEA 



OAiiOP-r^" SOUTH S>lT'AI>t> 

t 

^'jT HOMAU 




z 



s 



/ 




i_n 




6 12 18 
I 1 1 1 

MILES 
SCALE 

NON-ATTAINMENT AREAS 

MAP 11-11 AIR-QUALITY SUBAREAS AND SULFUR DIOXIDE 
NON-ATTAINMENT AREAS 

11-35 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



prock to 0.039 ppm at Kirtland in 1976. These 
levels are below the Federal and State standards. 

No S0 2 measurements were made at other rural 
monitoring sites in the ES Region. The SO2 con- 
centration in the north rural subarea is expected to 
be highest because the subarea has the most S0 2 
emission. Based on the measurements in the north 
rural subarea, it was assumed for dispersion model- 
ing that the rural background through the ES 
Region is essentially zero. 

The urban concentrations of SO2 are also quite 
low. The 1976 annual average concentration moni- 
tored in Farmington of 0.008 ppm is much lower 
than the national standard of 0.03 ppm. The highest 
24-hour maximum concentration for the two years 
is 0.035 ppm, well below the New Mexico 24-hour 
standard of 0. 1 ppm. 

There are two small areas designated as being in 
nonattainment status under the National Ambient 
Air Quality Standards for S0 2 in or near the ES 
Region. One area is in the vicinity of the Four 
Corners Generating Station, and the other lies 
along the Colorado-New Mexico State boundary 
north of the Four Corners and San Juan Generat- 
ing Stations. This designation may be removed 
from these areas when emission control equipment 
is installed at the Four Corners Generating Station. 
Until such designation is removed, however, any 
new source that would contribute significant quan- 
tities of SO2 emissions into these areas would be 
required to receive permits from the New Mexico 
Environmental Improvement Division and the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, and to conform 
to applicable regulations. 

Carbon Monoxide (CO) 

The State monitoring station in Farmington is 
the only site within the region at which CO is 
monitored. Data exist for January and February of 
1975 and for October through December of 1976. 
The average 8-hour concentration for these dates is 
3.9 ppm, well below the state standard of 8.7 ppm. 
Hourly maximums during the two periods are 20 
ppm and 17 ppm, respectively. These hourly maxi- 
mums are well below the Federal limit of 35 ppm, 
but exceed the more restrictive State limit of 13.1 
ppm. These values are not representative of the 
rural part of the study area. In the absence of any 
rural CO monitoring data, the background ambient 
level for rural areas is assumed to be less than 1 
ppm. The characteristic global background level 
for carbon monoxide is 0.35 ppm. 

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 

Ambient NO2 levels were monitored for 1975 
and 1976 in three towns in the ES Region: Aztec, 
Farmington, and Shiprock. NO2 was monitored in 
Kirtland only in 1976. The highest annual average 



concentration observed for these four stations was 
0.024 ppm, and the maximum 24-hour concentra- 
tion was 0.052 ppm. These concentrations are 
below the Federal and State standards. 

Non-Methane Hydrocarbons (NMHC> 

Total NMHC background levels during a 1975 
field study in the rural areas around Farmington 
(Meteorology Research, Inc., 1976) ranged from 
200 fxg/m 3 to over 700 /ng/m 3 . These levels, how- 
ever, may reflect the influence of hydrocarbon 
emissions from natural gas plants in the northern 
rural subareas of the ES Region. It is likely that 
background NMHC levels are lower in other su- 
bareas of the region. Measurements from surround- 
ing states establish natural background levels of 
about 50 u-g/m 3 , or 0.08 ppm. 

Photochemical Oxidants 

Measurements of ozone levels taken during the 
1975 field study around Farmington (Meteorology 
Research, Inc., 1976) show that rural background 
levels in the north rural subarea are about 0.05 
ppm. No measurements of photochemical oxidants 
or ozone exist for the remainder of the ES Region. 
Therefore, the data measured near Farmington are 
used as the basis for estimating background levels 
for the entire ES Region. 

Sulfate and Nitrate Particulates 

Background concentrations of sulfates and ni- 
trates of 2 /xg/m 3 and 1 jAg/m 3 , respectively, are 
assumed to be representative of the ES Region. 
These concentrations are reported for the contigu- 
ous United States in the National Air Data Base 
and in recent studies by Altshuller (1973) and 
Frank (1974). 

Trace Elements 

The trace element background concentrations 
that appear to be representative for the ES Region 
were estimated from the National Air Surveillance 
Network, information and summaries prepared by 
the Atmospheric Aspects Work Group of the 
Northern Great Plains Resource Program, and 
recent research studies in California. However, 
great uncertainty exists for assigning these values 
as the background concentrations for the ES 
Region. Hence, the values presented in Appendix 
Table B-8 can only be viewed as the best estimates 
of the possible background levels for the region. 

Existing Emissions 

Emissions of particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen 
oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide from 
major point sources and from area sources were 
obtained from the 1972 National Emission Data 
System (NEDS) data tape for New Mexico, with 



11-36 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



updates through 1975. Appendix Tables B-9, B-10 
and B- 1 1 give these emissions for San Juan, Sando- 
val, and McKinley Counties. These tables summa- 
rize all point sources with pollutant emissions 
greater than or equal to 25 tons/year. Area source 
emissions include those due to solid-waste disposal; 
transportation; area-wide industrial, commercial, in- 
stitutional, and residential fuel combustion; and 
miscellaneous sources. 

WATER RESOURCES 

New Mexico is a water-deficient area with re- 
spect to the availability of fresh water to maintain 
present irrigated agriculture and to meet other, pro- 
jected needs. The area included in this ES is arid 
to semi-arid. Annual rainfall in the area ranges 
from about 8.5 inches to nearly 16 inches. Most of 
the precipitation returns to the atmosphere through 
evaporation and transpiration. 

All streams that originate within the study region 
are either intermittent (flow only part of the year) 
or ephemeral (flow only during and immediately 
after storms). The only perennial streams are the 
San Juan, Animas, and La Plata Rivers, all of 
which flow south into the region from the Colora- 
do mountains. Consequently, ground water is the 
only source of water for most of the ES Region. 

In addition to the information contained in the 
references listed in Appendix D, water-resources 
data are available from the U.S. Geological 
Survey, Water Resources Division, Albuquerque, 
New Mexico, and other Federal and State agen- 
cies, including data from new sites as it becomes 
available. 

Ground Water 

Ground water is available nearly everywhere in 
the San Juan Basin. At least 19 geologic formations 
are known to yield water to wells somewhere in 
the basin (Figure 11-16). However, most yields are 
low (less than 20 gallons per minute gal/min) and 
the quality of the water generally is poor. Only 4 
aquifers are recognized as having the potential to 
yield 100 gal/min or more to properly constructed 
wells in the basin. The occurrence of ground water 
in the San Juan Basin is summarized and the loca- 
tion of the formations shown on Map D. 

Only those aquifers that may be impacted by 
coal-related developments are discussed further. 
Figure II- 16 indicates which aquifers may be im- 
pacted. Available data on aquifer characteristics 
are summarized in Table II-7. 

Entrada Sandstone 

Where it crops out north of Interstate 40, in the 
southern part of the San Juan Basin, the Entrada 
Sandstone consists of about 45 feet of dark reddish- 
brown siltstone and thin-bedded silty sandstone 



overlain by about 160 feet of massive, reddish- 
orange, fine- to medium-grained quartzose sand- 
stone. The upper part exhibits eolian cross bedding 
and weathers into massive, rounded cliffs. The total 
thickness of the formation in the basin ranges from 
about 50 to 350 feet. 

Very little is known concerning the water-bear- 
ing characteristics of the Entrada in the San Juan 
Basin, as few wells tap the formation. Those wells 
that pump water from the Entrada are used to 
water stock. Shomaker and Stone (1976, p. 45) 
estimate that the water-bearing characteristics of 
the Entrada are similar to those of the Westwater 
Canyon Member of the Morrison Formation. The 
top of the sandstone is about 5,800 feet below land 
surface. The water is under artesian pressure and 
will rise close to the land surface. This provides a 
large range for drawdown, so several hundred gal- 
lons a minute could be obtained from a well. 

Morrison Formation 

The Morrison Formation contains more fresh 
water than other bedrock aquifers in the San Juan 
Basin. It consists of three members. The upper and 
lower members (Brushy Basin and Recapture 
Members, respectively) consist of varicolored 
shale, mudstone, and siltstone with thin beds and 
lenses of fine-grained sandstone and limestone. 
They generally do not yield water to wells. 

The middle (Westwater Canyon) member con- 
sists of 1 to 4 massive beds of fine- to coarse- 
grained sandstone with some interbeds of clays- 
tone. It ranges from 30 to 375 feet in thickness. 

In the Grants Mineral Belt, the Westwater 
Canyon Member is mined extensively for uranium. 
Additional mines are planned for the Crownpoint 
area and possibly on the Navajo Indian Reserva- 
tion west of U.S. Highway 666. In most of the 
mines it is necessary to dewater the sandstone 
before mining can proceed. Mine shafts in the Am- 
brosia Lake and Church Rock areas are reported to 
yield as much as 3,000 gal/min (Hiss, 1977). 

Few wells obtain water from the Westwater 
Canyon Member within the ES Region. Based on 
scant data, the unit is not a prolific aquifer. Mercer 
and Cooper (1970) report yields of only 20 gal/min 
from wells in the Gallup area. In places in the San 
Juan Basin, the overlying Brushy Basin Member is 
thin to absent, and the Westwater Canyon Member 
and the overlying Dakota Sandstone form a single 
hydrologic unit. Mercer and Cooper (1970) report 
that wells tapping this combined aquifer yield 
about 100 gal/min in the Gallup area. Crownpoint 
obtains its water from the Westwater Canyon 
Member. 

Except at the outcrop, water in the Westwater 
Canyon Member is under artesian pressure. This 
pressure increases as the aquifer extends basinward 



11-37 



LAND SURFACE 



1,000' 



2.000' 



3.000' 



4,000' 



5.000' 



6.000' 



7.000' 



8.000' 



9.000' 



10,000' 



LEGEND 





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^SSSSSBS SSSBSSS 



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VV l \.A.VV.\\A l A. l \.'IV.\-.H 



msmvMm 



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tM/mm/m/mm 



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tz 



W/ //////// // A 





ALLUVIUM 

SAN JOSE FORMATION 

NACIMIENTO FORMATION 
OJO ALAMO SANDSTONE 

KIRTLAND SHALE 

FRUITLAND FORMATION 
PICTURED CLIFFS SANDSTONE 

LEWIS SHALE 

CLIFF HOUSE SANDSTONE 



MENEFEE FORMATION 

POINT LOOKOUT SANDSTONE 
CREVASSE CANYON FORMATION 

GALLUP SANDSTONE 

MANCOS SHALE 

DAKOTA SANDSTONE 

MORRISON FORMATION 

BLUFF SANDSTONE 
SUMMERVILLE FORMATION 
TODILTO LIMESTONE 
ENTRADA SANDSTONE 
WINGATE SANDSTONE 

CHINLE FORMATION 



MOENKOPI FORMATION 
SAN ANDRES LIMESTONE 
GLORIETA SANDSTONE 



Y//\ MAJOR AQUIFER |\N> MINOR AQUIFER 

[ ] AQUIFER MAY BE IMPACTEDBY MINING AND RELATED ACTIVITIES 

FIGURE 11-16 GENERALIZED STR ATIGR APH IC COLUMN SHOWING THE 
OCCURRENCE OF GROUND WATER 

11-38 



Aquifer 



Pictured Cliffs 
Sandstone 

Cliff House 

Sandstone 

Menefee Formation 

Point Lookout 
Sandstone 

Crevasse Canyon 
Formation 

Gallup Sandstone 

Westwater Canyon 
Member 

Entrada Sandstone 



Table II-7 
AQUIFER CHARACTERISTICS 



Transmissivity 
(ft 2 /d) 



120 to 270 
36 to 510 



Storage 
Coefficient 



3 x 10 3 

3 x 10-3 to 
1 x 10 -4 



Specific 
Conductance 
(gal/min/ft) 



0.02 to 0.07 

0.05 to 0.12 

0.03 to 1.38 
0.07 to 1.12 

0.03 to 0.64 

0.03 to 4.7 
0.27 to 1.6 

0.02 to 3-5 



Source: Cooley and others, 1969; Shomaker and Stone, 1976 ; and unpublished data. 



11-39 



Regional Analysis 

under younger formations, and most wells flow. 
Near Star Lake, the top of the aquifer is about 
4,600 feet below land surface, whereas the poten- 
tiometric surface (the imaginary surface to which 
water will rise in tightly cased wells) is only 188 
feet below land surface. Near Chaco Canyon Na- 
tional Monument, where the top of the aquifer is 
about 4,500 feet below land surface, the potentio- 
metric surface is nearly 160 feet above land surface. 
Because the water level can rise so far above the 
top of the aquifer, a large drawdown (decline in 
water level) in pumping wells is possible without 
dewatering the aquifer. Therefore, even with a spe- 
cific capacity (yield per foot of drawdown) of only 
0.3 gal/min/ft, yields of several hundred gallons 
per minute are possible under the normal pumping 
schedule of a mine. 

Gallup Sandstone 

The Gallup Sandstone consists of light-gray to 
buff, fine- to coarse-grained sandstone with some 
interbeds of siltstone, mudstone, and in places, coal. 
In some areas, the Gallup is split into 2 separate 
sandstone units by as much as 90 feet of dark-gray 
shale. The upper sandstone, which is 60 to 125 feet 
thick, is pink to buff or light gray, and forms cliffs 
and ledges. The lower sandstone, which is a few 
feet to 75 feet thick, is a buff to gray, fine-grained, 
silty sandstone, commonly with a dark -brown iron- 
stone bed at the top. The Gallup thins northeast- 
ward and pinches out along a zone running from 
the southeast corner of T.19 N., R.7 W., to the 
southwest corner of T.25 N., R.13 W. (Shomaker 
and Stone, 1976). 

The Gallup Sandstone is the major aquifer in the 
Gallup area and supplies most of the city's water. 
Mercer and Cooper (1970) report that a test well 
north of the city is capable of pumping 800 gal/ 
min. At present (1977), the city of Gallup is pump- 
ing about 1 million gallons a day from wells tap- 
ping the Gallup Sandstone, and water levels in 
nearby wells have been declining about 1 foot per 

year. 

Like the Westwater Canyon Member of the 
Morrison Formation, water in the Gallup Sand- 
stone generally is under artesian pressure, with 
many flowing wells. As the Gallup dips under 
younger rocks to the north, this pressure provides 
a large range for drawdown, so that several hun- 
dred gallons per minute can be obtained from a 
well even though the specific capacity is low. 

Crevasse Canyon Formation 

The Crevasse Canyon Formation consists of 500 
to 1,000 feet of clay, carbonaceous shale, coal, and 
sandstone. It has been divided into the Dilco Coal 
Member, the Dalton Sandstone Member, the Bart- 
lett Barren Member, and the Gibson Coal Member. 



Environment 

Ground water can generally be obtained from all 
four members, with the Dalton Sandstone Member 
being the best aquifer. Yields generally are suffi- 
cient only for domestic and stock use, but Sho- 
maker and Stone (1976) report a yield of 45 gal/ 
min from the Dalton in a well east of Crownpoint. 

Point Lookout Sandstone 

The Point Lookout Sandstone is a massive, dark- 
orange to yellowish-gray, fine- to coarse-grained 
sandstone that contains abundant iron-oxide con- 
cretions and thin beds of silty shale. In the south- 
ern part of the basin, the Point Lookout is split into 
two sandstone units by a tongue of dark-gray shale 
(Satan Tongue of the Mancos Shale). The Point 
Lookout yields sufficient water for stock and do- 
mestic use. 

Menefee Formation 

The Menefee Formation consists of gray to 
brown shale and claystone, thin beds of coal, car- 
bonaceous shale, and sandstone, and some layers of 
ironstone and limestone concretions. It is divided 
into a lower coal-bearing member, a middle barren 
member, and an upper coal-bearing member. The 
formation generally yields sufficient water for 
stock and domestic use, but sometimes has a large 
drawdown. . 

Cliff House Sandstone 

The Cliff House Sandstone is primarily an irreg- 
ularly bedded, medium- to fine-grained silty sand- 
stone. In places it is divided into the La Ventana 
and Chacra Tongues. The sandstone generally 
yields sufficient water for domestic and stock use. 
Where the sandstone is well developed, particular- 
ly the La Ventana Tongue, larger yields may be 
possible. 

Pictured Cliffs Sandstone 

Throughout most of its occurrence in the San 
Juan Basin, the Pictured Cliffs Sandstone consists 
of an upper massive sandstone with a few thin beds 
of shale, and a lower section composed of relative- 
ly thin interbeds of shale and sandstone. The sand- 
stones are fine to medium grained and very tight, 
especially in the northwest part of the basin. Few 
wells obtain water from the Pictured Cliffs Sand- 
stone, and those that do pump only a few gallons 
per minute. 

Fruitland Formation and Kirtland Shale 

The Fruitland Formation is composed of discon- 
tinuous, interbedded sandstone, siltstone, shale, car- 
bonaceous shale, and coal. The Kirtland Shale is 
very similar but contains little or no coal. In the 
northern part of the basin it contains more sand- 
stone. Neither formation is a good aquifer, but in 



11-40 



Regional Analysis 

places wells obtain small amounts of poor quality 
water from the sandstones. Some water is also 
found in coal beds near the surface. 

Alluvium 

Deposits of alluvium occur along most of the 
stream channels in the San Juan Basin. They con- 
sist of a heterogeneous mixture of sand, silt, and 
clay, with gravel and boulders along the larger 
channels. Most wells tapping the alluvium yield 
sufficient quantities of water for stock and domestic 
use. Generally, the alluvium is too thin and limited 
in distribution to support continuous large with- 
drawals. However, large yields can be obtained 
from alluvium along the San Juan River. 

Ground-Water Flow 

The bedrock aquifers are recharged chiefly by 
precipitation that falls on thin areas of outcrop and 
by percolation from the occasional streamflow 
across the outcrops. There is some interformational 
flow from aquifers with higher pressure to those of 
lower pressure. Flow is from the areas of outcrop, 
which generally are topographically high areas on 
the edges of the basin, toward lower outlets. Most 
of the flow is toward the northwest near the Four 
Corners, but some flow is to the southeast along 
the Rio Grande Trough and to the southwest along 
the Puerco River near Gallup. Numerous small 
springs (less than 2 gal/min) are evidence of 
ground-water discharge at the surface. 

Throughout most of the area, water in the allu- 
vium flows toward the San Juan River and its 
tributaries. In the Gallup area, flow is southwest 
along the Puerco River. East of the Continental 
Divide, flow in the alluvium is along tributaries to 
the Rio Grande. The alluvium is recharged by pre- 
cipitation falling on it, by runoff from nearby hill- 
sides, and by percolation from stream channels. It 
discharges into the underlying bedrock aquifers. 

In summary, nearly all the sandstones in the 
basin yield water to wells. Because the sandstones 
are mostly fine grained and silty, yields generally 
are sufficient only for stock and domestic purposes. 
Water in the sandstone is under artesian pressure, 
except near outcrops. Where a coarser sandstone 
occurs at depth with the water under sufficient 
pressure to raise hundreds or thousands of feet, 
yields of several hundred gallons per minute can be 
obtained, although drawdown will be large. The 
Entrada Sandstone, the Westwater Canyon 
Member of the Morrison Formation, and the 
Gallup Sandstone generally have higher yields, be- 
cause they are coarser and transmit water more 
readily. The alluvial deposits generally are too thin 
and restricted in occurrence to provide water for 
other than stock and domestic purposes. 



Environment 

Surface Water 

The ES Region is within both the Rio Grande 
and the Colorado River Basins. The southeast part 
of the region is drained by tributaries of the Rio 
Grande, the north part by the San Juan River and 
its tributaries, and the southwest part by a tributary 
of the Little Colorado River. Map 11-12 shows the 
drainage pattern of the area. Table II-8 lists the 
principal streams by tributary rank in downstream 
order. Most of these streams are shown on Map C. 
Streamflow in the ES Region is highly variable, 
generally occurring in response to short-duration, 
high-intensity thunderstorms. These storms usually 
occur in late spring and summer. Winter storms, in 
contrast, are usually of low intensity and short 
duration, with little or no runoff. Occasionally, 
snow accumulates sufficiently to cause a small 
amount of snowmelt runoff. Intense rainfall during 
thunderstorms causes flooding that is generally 
local in extent, but may be of large magnitude. 
Storm discharges of several hundred to several 
thousand cubic feet per second from drainages of a 
few square miles are not uncommon. 

Streamflows in northwestern New Mexico have 
been monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey, in 
cooperation with the Office of the State Engineer 
of New Mexico and other State and Federal Agen- 
cies. 

Surface waters can be transported from areas of 
supply to areas of demand. Therefore, data for 
many of the gages in the Rio Grande, San Juan 
River and Little Colorado River basins outside the 
ES Region have been included to present a more 
complete picture of the surface-water resources of 
the region. Most of the streamflow records are for 
the larger streams, such as the Rio Grande and the 
San Juan River, and their larger tributaries. Only in 
the last few years have data been collected for the 
smaller streams, particularly within the ES Region. 
Selected streamflow characteristics of mean 
annual flow, range of annual minimum daily dis- 
charge and peak flow characteristics for selected 
streams are presented in Appendix Table B-12. The 
location of these gages is shown on Map 11-12. 
Remarks are included for all stream flows affected 
by man. Additional streamflow data are available 
from the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources 
Division, Albuquerque. 

Flood peaks are the most important feature of 
the streamflow within the region. Data are very 
meager, so Figure 11-17 presents maximum ob- 
served peak discharges for northwest New Mexico 
(after Scott, 1971). This data carries no connotation 
of recurrence interval. The envelope curve con- 
nects the largest events; this probably represents 
some large recurrence interval. 



11-41 



Allison 



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LEGEND 

A GAGING STATION — — """ SAN JUAN DRAINAGE BASIN 

A PARTIAL RECORD GAGING STATIONS 

C COMMUNITIES WITH PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS 



MAP II- 12. LOCATION OF STREAM-GAGING STATIONS AND PUBLIC 
WATER-SUPPLY SYSTEMS. 

11-42 



Table I 1-8 

STREAMS OF NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO BY 
TRIBUTARY RANK AND DOWNSTREAM ORDER 



Rio Grande basin 

Jemez River basin 
Rio Salado 

Arroyo Alamo 

Arroyo Alamito 
Arroyo Anniento 
Querencia Arroyo 

Bernalillito Arroyo 
Canada de las Milpas 
Rio Puerco 

Arroyo Ciiijullla 

Arroyo Chijullita 
Senorita Canyon 

San Pablo Creek 
Miguel Canyon 
Arroyo de las Pinos 
Arroyo dedos Gordos 
Rito Olquin 
Arroyo Chico 

Canada Marcelina 
Canada del C amino 
Inditos Draw 
San Isidro Arroyo basin 
San Miguel Creek 
Arroyo Sarcio 
Arroyo Alfred Padilla 
North Fork Arroyo Chico 
San Springs Arroyo 

Sandoval Arroyo 
Rincon Marque z Arroyo 
Arroyo Seccion 
Canada Calladito 
Torreon Wash 

Encino Wash 
Penistaja Arroyo 
Papers Wash 
San Isidro Wash 
Arroyo Piedra Lumbre 
Rio San Jose basin 

Bluewater Creek basin 
Mitchell Draw 

Casamero Draw 
San Mateo Creek 

Arroyo del Puerto 



11-43 



Table II-8 (continued) 



Colorado River basin 
San Juan River 
Canon Bancos 
La Jara Creek 
Los Pinos River 
Frances Creek 
Governador Canyon 
Pump Canyon 
Horse Canyon 
Canon Largo 

Tapicito Creek 

Palluche Wash 

Carrizo Creek 
Munoz Creek 

Blanco Wash 

Jaques Canyon 
Kutz Canyon 
Gallegos Canyon 

West Fork Gallegos Creek 
Animas River 
Farmington Glade 
La Plata River 

McDermott Arroyo 

Barker Arroyo 
Shumway Arroyo 
Chaco River 

Canada Corrales 

Faj'ada Wash 

Escavada Wash 

Betonnie Tsosie Wash 
Kirribeto Wash 

Kin Klizhin Wash 

Ah-shi-sle-pah Wash 

Kim-me-hi-oli Wash 

De-na-zin Wash 

Indian Creek 

Hunter Wash 

Little Colorado River basin 
Puerco River 

South Fork Puerco River 
Bread Springs Wash 
Salt Water Wash 
Defiance Draw 

Burned Death Wash 
Manuelito Canyon 



11-44 





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11-45 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Methods have been developed to estimate peak 
discharges in New Mexico for recurrence intervals 
of 2 to 100 years. These methods include (1) a 
State flood-frequency analysis (Scott, 1971); (2) 
computation from measurements of channel width 
(Kunkler and Scott, 1976); (3) use of runoff curve 
numbers (U.S. Soil Conservation Service, 1973); 
and (4) the rational method (Chow, 1964). Table 
II-9 presents peak discharges for recurrence inter- 
vals up to 50 years using the State flood-frequency 
analysis for several selected streams within the 
region. The assumptions, equations and basic data 
for this analysis are presented in Appendix B. The 
probability that a flood of a given recurrence inter- 
val (Table II-9) will be exceeded during a specific 
time period, such as the life of a railroad, is indicat- 
ed in Table 11-10. 

There are a number of ephemeral lakes and 
many stock watering ponds within the study 
region. These lakes and ponds are generally quite 
small (under 50 acres) and scattered (4 to 8 per 10 
square miles), so they should have minimal effect 
on small floods and no effect on larger floods. 
Only Navajo Reservoir on the San Juan River is 
large enough to have an appreciable effect on the 
surface flows. This reservoir, completed in 1963 by 
the Bureau of Reclamation, has a storage capacity 
of 1,708,600 acre-feet. Navajo Reservoir complete- 
ly controls the flow of the San Juan River. It is 
used for irrigation storage, river regulation, desilt- 
ing, flood control, and recreation. 

Water Quality 

Ground Water 

The quality of ground water in the ES Region 
generally ranges from fair to poor. In most places 
the dissolved-solids content exceeds the Environ- 
mental Protection Agency (1972) recommended 
maximum of 1,000 milligrams per liter- (mg/L) for 
potable water. Nevertheless, because it usually is 
the only water available, ground water is widely 
used for domestic supply. The water generally is 
hard to very hard. Dominant ions vary between 
aquifers and from place to place within an aquifer. 
Calcium or sodium is usually the predominant 
anion, and bicarbonate or sulfate the predominant 
cation. 

Quality of water from the bedrock aquifers gen- 
erally is best near outcrops, where they are re- 
charged by relatively unmineralized precipitation. 
The quality tends to deteriorate with distance from 
the outcrop as water dissolves minerals from the 
rocks as it moves downdip into the basin. Many of 
the Cretaceous sandstones pinch out toward the 
center of the basin. In or near these areas of pinch 
out, the dissolved solids may be as much as 30,000 
mg/L. 



Generally, water from the alluvium is of better 
quality than that from adjacent bedrock aquifers 
because the water comes more directly from pre- 
cipitation and usually has not been in contact with 
soluble minerals for very long. However, toward 
the lower end of the major drainages, such as 
Canon Largo and Chaco River, the alluvium is 
recharged by water seeping out of the bedrock. 
This water is usually highly mineralized, and as a 
result, water from the alluvium is also high in dis- 
solved solids. Ground water near some of the 
ephemeral lakes and ponds usually is high in dis- 
solved solids. This probably results from evapora- 
tion concentrating the minerals before the remain- 
ing water seeps into the ground. 

The ranges of the most common ions in water 
from the various aquifers are summarized in Ap- 
pendix Table B-14. Individual analyses of ground- 
water samples have been published in Baltz and 
West (1967), Brimhall (1973), Cooper and John 
(1968), Gordon (1961), Iorns and others (1964), and 
Mercer and Cooper (1970). 

Surface Water 

Long-term chemical-quality data are available 
only for the larger perennial streams within the 
region; short-term data are available for a few of 
the ephemeral streams (Appendix Tables B-15 and 
B-16). It should be noted that these data are not 
sufficient to provide an accurate analysis of the 
anticipated impacts. 

The chemical quality of surface water in the ES 
Region is characteristic of waters in arid to se- 
miarid regions of the southwestern United States 
underlain by Cretaceous and Tertiary sedimentary 
deposits. Generally, the water is high in dissolved 
solids, with sodium, bicarbonate and sulfate the 
predominant ions. Hem (1970) discussed the signifi- 
cance of many chemical constituents in natural 
waters. 

The channels and washes within the study region 
flow sporadically from localized, short-duration, 
high-intensity storms, usually during late spring and 
summer. The channels are normally dry the re- 
mainder of the year. Water quality during the ini- 
tial part of a flow event is usually poor, because 
accumulations of soluble materials on the water- 
shed are being flushed downstream. The soluble 
materials originate from weathered soils and rocks, 
animal and plant wastes, and residues from evapo- 
ration of saline water. After the initial flushing in 
the flow event, the quality of the water improves 
progressively until the final trickles, which contain 
more dissolved solids from bank seepage. Flows 
during the early part of the storm season have 
generally poorer quality than flows later in the 
season. 



11-46 



Table II-9 
COMPUTED STREAMFLOW CHARACTERISTICS FOR SELECTED STREAMS IN NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO 



Stream name 



Drainage area 
(ml 2 ) 



Mean annual 

discharge 

(ft Vs) 



Flood Frequency (ft V'S) 

S-veaT 1 f)-vpar 2R— v 



2-year ■ 5-year 10-year 25-year 50-year 






Arroyo Chijuilla 

Sandoval Arroyo 

Papers Wash 

Arroyo Piedra Lumbre 

Arroyo Del Puerto 

La Fragua Canyon 

Little Pump Canyon 

Palluche Wash 

Kutz Canyon 

West Fork Gallegos Canyon 

Hutch Canyon 

Arroyo Pueblo Alto 

Pueblo Pintado Canyon 

Escavada Wash 

Ah-shi-sle-pah Wash 

Kirn-me-ni-oll Wash 

tributary 
Coal Creek 
Puerco River 
South Fork Puerco River 

tributary 
Burned Death Wash 



66.4 


2.39 


7 V 


1,900 


2,900 


4,300 


5,300 


26.5 


.22 


570 


1,300 


1,900 


2,800 


3,400 


69.1 


• 91 


860 


2,100 


3,000 


4,400 


5,500 


78.0 


2.19 


970 


2,200 


3,200 


4,500 


5,500 


93.8 


1.12 


920 


2,400 


3,500 


5,100 


6,200 


46.4 


4.54 


840 


1,700 


2,400 


3,300 


4,000 


15.2 


1.13 


520 


1,000 


1,500 


2,100 


2,700 


40.5 


1.86 


780 


1,600 


2,400 


3,700 


4,800 


51.0 


1.50 


920 


1,900 


2,600 


3,700 


4,700 


76.5 


1.50 


1,300 


2,300 


3,200 


4,700 


5,800 


3.08 


.07 


400 


810 


1,200 


1,700 


2,200 


2.54 


.05 


180 


400 


590 


870 


1,100 


7.06 


.14 


300 


700 


1,100 


1,600 


2,100 


89.2 


1.62 


1,300 


2,400 


3,400 


4,700 


5,800 


43.1 


.67 


770 


1,700 


2,600 


3,800 


5,000 


34.2 


.25 


750 


1,500 


2,200 


3,200 


4,100 


51.4 


1.12 


640 


1,800 


2,800 


4,200 


5,400 


277 


8.90 


1,400 


2,800 


4,100 


5,900 


7,400 


11.2 


.57 


300 


660 


980 


1,500 


1,900 


53.3 


1.90 


720 


1,500 


2,200 


3,300 


4,100 



Table 11-10 

PROBABILITY OF A FLOOD OF A GIVEN RECURRENCE INTERVAL 
BEING EXCEEDED DURING THE INDICATED TIME PERIODS 



CO 



Time 


Period 








Recurrence 


Interval in 


Years 




in Ye 


ars 


2 
0.97 


5 


10 


25 


50 


100 


200 


500 


5 


0.67 


0.41 


0.18 


0.10 


' 0.05 


0.02 


0.01 


10 




1.00 


.89 


.65 


.3^ 


.18 


.10 


.05 


.02 


15 




1.00 


• 96 


• 79 


.46 


.26 


.14 


.07 


.03 


20 




1.00 


.99 


.88 


.56 


.33 


.18 


.10 


.04 


25 




1.00 


1.00 


.93 


.64 


.40 


.22 


.12 


.05 


30 




1.00 


1.00 


.96 


.71 


.45 


.26 


.14 


.06 


35 




1.00 


1.00 


• 97 


.76 


.51 


• 30 


.16 


.07 


'10 




1.00 


1.00 


.99 


.80 


.55 


.33 


.18 


.08 


45 




1.00 


1.00 


.99 


.84 


.60 


.36 


" .20 


.09 


50 




1.00 


1.00 


.99 


.87 


.64 


.39 


.22 


.10 



Note: Values shown in table as 1.00 are actually slightly less and have been rounded to 
3 significant figures . 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Some of the surface flows are captured in small 
natural depressions or behind small dams. This im- 
pounded water usually disappears quickly. Some 
water is consumed by livestock or irrigation of 
small local plots, but the major loss is through 
infiltration and evapotranspiration. The impounded 
water may be a composite of one or several flow 
events; the water quality would, therefore, be an 
average of all flows. Chemical-quality changes in 
ponds or reservoirs result primarily from evapora- 
tion, which concentrates the more soluble constitu- 
ents and precipitates less soluble constituents. 
Chemical-quality «may be affected also through 
changes in atmospheric conditions and biological 
activities. Highly concentrated solutions develop 
during the last stages of evaporation in the lowest 
parts of the reservoir, and part of this infiltrates 
into the reservoir bottom. Poor quality water may 
occur in shallow wells near these reservoirs or 
ponds; however, if infiltration rates are high within 
a reservoir bottom, the impounded water would 
seep into the ground before total evaporation, with 
better quality water occurring in the reservoir 
bottom. 

The water-quality parameters most likely to be 
impacted are: turbidity (sediment), total dissolved 
solids, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen 
demand, pH, and nitrogen. A change in one param- 
eter may simultaneously produce changes in other 
parameters due to their interactions. For example, 
an increase in turbidity from increased sediment 
may produce an increase in water temperature and 
a decrease in dissolved oxygen. For an extensive 
discussion of the complex interrelationships of all 
water-quality parameters, refer to McKee and Wolf 
(1963). 

An indicator of the chemistry of a stream is the 
dissolved-solids content. For example, in the San 
Juan River the dissolved solids measured at Shi- 
prock ranged from 115 mg/L to 2,980 mg/L 
during the period 1941-49, 1957-75. For Hunter 
Wash, an ephemeral stream within the study 
region, the dissolved solids measured at Bisti Trad- 
ing Post ranged from 313 mg/L to 1,230 mg/L 
during the period July to September, 1975. For 
comparison, the EPA (1972) recommends that the 
concentration of dissolved solids not exceed 500 
mg/L in drinking waters, but allows 1,000 mg/L if 
no better water is available. 

Sediment 

Sediment is defined as fragmented material that 
is transported by, suspended in, or deposited by 
water or air. Only fluvial sediment, which is relat- 
ed to water, is discussed in this section. Sediment 
quality of streamflow is a result of erosion and 
sedimentation processes. 



Sediment yield is primarily dependent upon the 
following factors: (1) surficial geology - the pres- 
ence of soil vs. rock, the decomposition rate of 
geological formations, and the stability of any soil 
that exists to withstand water and wind; (2) climate 
- storm frequency, intensity, and duration; (3) 
ground cover - vegetation or litter, and land use 
(cultivated, grazed, roads, forest, etc.); (4) upland 
erosion - rills and gullies, landslides, wind erosion, 
headcuts. 

Sediment transport, once the sediment reaches an 
established stream channel, is dependent upon the 
hydraulic characteristics of the channel and the 
size distribution of material available for transport. 
The major hydraulic variables are width, depth, 
slope, velocity, resistance to flow, temperature, dis- 
charge, and concentration of fine material. 

All surface flows in the study region seem to be 
accompanied by a suspension of very fine clay, 
which doesn't readily settle. The fine clays may 
affect the chemical quality through ion exchange 
on the clay surfaces. The higher erodibility of soils 
and, thus, the highest sediment yields, occur in 
badland topography such as those near Bisti Trad- 
ing Post. The highest sediment concentrations 
occur during flood periods because the flow has a 
high amount of energy available to collect and 
transport sediment. 

The only long-term sediment data available are 
for a few larger perennial streams originating out- 
side the study region. Some short-term data are 
available for a few ephemeral streams (Appendix 
Table B-17). 

An indication of total sediment movement is the 
suspended sediment. For the San Juan River at 
Shiprock, the suspended sediment concentration 
ranged from 2 mg/L to 114,000 mg/L and mean 
daily sediment discharge ranged from 1 ton/day to 
2,000,000 tons/day, for the period 1950-75. For 
Hunter Wash at Bisti Trading Post, concentration 
ranged from 86 mg/L to 253,000 mg/L and instan- 
taneous sediment discharge ranged from 0.8 ton/ 
day to 280,000 tons/day, for the water year 1975. 
Twenty years of records near Bernardo show the 
Rio Puerco yielded 75 percent of the sediment 
discharged to Elephant Butte Reservoir and only 5 
percent of the water. 

The Chaco River and Canon Largo are the 
major contributors of sediment to the San Juan 
River immediately above Shiprock. By subtracting 
the data for the San Juan River at Bloomfield and 
the Animas River at Farmington from the Shiprock 
records, the yield for the Chaco River and several 
smaller arroyos can be approximated as 2,880,000 
tons/year of sediment or less than 0.38 acre-feet 
per square mile per year (acre-ft/miVyr) average 
outflow for the 4,350 square miles of the Chaco 
basin. Stations operated at the mouth of Arroyo 



11-49 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Chico and the Rio San Jose at Correo show aver- 
age yields of 1.3 and 0.15 acre-ft/mi Vyr, respec- 
tively. 

Since some areas within these basins have very 
low yields and some deposition, the yield for other 
areas must be excessive. For example, 1 year of 
record shows the sediment yield is approximately 
2.0 acre-ft/miVyr for Hunter Wash, which includes 
a badlands area. Fragmentary data from a small 
tributary to Hunter Wash indicate that the bad- 
lands area yields possibly 10 times more water and 
sediment from sheet erosion alone, than is yielded 
from the silty soil in the northern and eastern parts 
of Hunter Wash. Based on this data, the yield for 
the badlands area of Hunter Wash is approximately 
4.5 acre-ft/mi Vyr. This yield was from less than 7 
inches of precipitation for the year and less than 1 
inch for any one event. 

Showen (1970) estimated sediment yields ranging 
from 0.05 to 3.0 acre-ft/mi Vyr for the Chaco 
drainage near Star Lake. The low yields are from 
drainages with no incised channel and a good 
vegetal cover for this part of the country. The 
highest yields are from the clay and decomposed- 
shale badlands. The sediment yield that originates 
other than from headcuts or erosion of incised 
channels or badlands is probably less than 0.2 acre- 
ft/miVyr. 

Silty, unstable soils and adverse topography 
create a condition sensitive to erosion in the form 
of headcutting. Headcuts and incised channel deg- 
radation are extremely difficult to evaluate but can 
produce sediment yields several orders of magni- 
tude greater than the rest of a drainage basin. Flow 
in an active channel with a headcut may reach its 
sediment transport capacity in a relatively short 
distance, sometimes within the headcut itself. As 
the slope of the channel decreases downstream, the 
carrying capacity of the flow decreases and deposi- 
tion occurs, thus further decreasing the -slope and 
capacity. The downstream incised channel will fill 
with sediment and form a braided channel that 
widens into a grassy swale as the headcut moves 
up the drainage basin. This type of sediment moves 
in steps and eventually. will reach a major perennial 
stream, such as the San Juan River. Because the 
ES Region is still in a natural and basically unde- 
veloped condition, sediment outflow and headcut- 
ting are in equilibrium. 

Water Use 

Water-use data are not readily available for the 
ES Region. The New Mexico District Office of the 
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Divi- 
sion, has estimated water use during 1975 for the 
San Juan River drainage in New Mexico. Although 
estimated for a larger area than the ES Region, 
these figures should provide an idea of water use in 



the region. Map 11-12 shows the relation of the San 
Juan River drainage to the ES Region. 

The largest withdrawals of water in the San Juan 
drainage are used for irrigation; withdrawals aver- 
age nearly 192 million gallons a day (Mgal/d), of 
which 1 Mgal/d is from ground water. This water 
is used to irrigate 47,000 acres, mostly along the 
Animas, La Plata, and San Juan Rivers. The largest 
single irrigation project in the basin is the Navajo 
Indian Irrigation Project south and southwest of 
Farmington, which is still in the developmental 
stage. When fully implemented, this project will 
utilize an average of 202 Mgal/d from Navajo Res- 
ervoir on the San Juan River to irrigate 110,630 
acres. The first 10,000 acres were put under irriga- 
tion in 1976, and an additional 10,000 acres will be 
added each year through 1986. 

The next largest daily use of water in the San 
Juan drainage is for thermoelectric generating 
plants. These plants used an estimated 22.4 Mgal/d 
in 1975, all from the San Juan River. Other self- 
supplied industry in the basin used an average of 7 
Mgal/d, all from ground-water sources. Outside 
the San Juan basin, but within the study region, are 
the uranium mines of the Grants Mineral Belt. 
Many of these mines must be dewatered for mining 
to proceed, and as much as 4.3 Mgal/d is being 
pumped from some of the shafts. Some of this is 
used as process water in the uranium mills. The 
rest is pumped into nearby washes, where it main- 
tains perennial flow for several miles in some 
streams within the Puerco River and Rio San Jose 
basins before percolating into the streambed. 

There are 7 municipal water-supply systems and 
16 community-type water systems in the ES 
Region (Table 11-11 and Map II- 12). Many rural 
residents haul water from one of the public-supply 
systems. Except for the Aztec, Blanco, Bloomfield, 
and Farmington municipal systems, all the public 
water-supply systems utilize ground water. Blanco 
uses an infiltration gallery along the San Juan 
River; the other 3 take their water directly from 
the Animas or San Juan Rivers. These public 
water-supply systems used an estimated 13 Mgal/d 
in 1975, nearly three quarters from surface-water 
sources. 

Much of the rural population obtain their water 
from wells and springs. Slightly more than 3 Mgal/ 
d was used in 1975 for rural domestic purposes. 
Nearly all this water came from ground-water 
sources. Another 4 Mgal/d was used for livestock, 
of which 1 Mgal/d was from ground water. 

Water use in the Upper Colorado River Basin of 
New Mexico in 1970, and projected water use for 
1980 and 1990 are given in Table 11-12. Data for 
this table were taken from the U.S. Bureau of Rec- 
lamation (1976), using the population projections of 



11-50 



Name 
Allison 
Aztec 
Blanco 

Bloomfield 

Borrego Pass 
Bread Springs 
Crownpoint 
Cuba 

2/ 

Farmington— 

Gallup 

Gamerco 

Huerfano 

Iyanbito 

Klmbeto 

La Jara 

Lybrook 

Mariano Lake 

Ojo Encino 

Pueblo Pintado 

Thoreau 

Torreon 

Turley 

Whitehorse 



Table 11-11 






PUBLIC WA3ER-SUPPLY 


SYSTEMS 




Source 2/ Aquifer 


Average Use 
(gal/day) 

10,000 


Dissolved Solids 
(mg/L) 


1 well 


1,075 


Animas River 


1,500,000 


550 



1 well 
1 well 
1 well 
1 well 
springs 

1 well 

2 wells 
spring 

1 well 

2 wells 
1 well 
1 well 
1 well 



Jm 



San Juan Fiver 
(infiltration 
gallery) Qal 



San Juan River 

1 well 

1 well 

2 wells 
4 wells 

1 well and 

springs 
Animas River 
9 wells 



Jm 

Tsj 
Qal 



Kg 
Kg 
Tn 

Psa 
Qal 



Tn, Tkoa 

Jm 

Tkoa 

Kch 

Psa, TRc 

Tkoa 

Qal 

Kmf 



190,000 

7,000 

6,000 

20,000 

30,000 

8,000,000 

1,700,000 

25,000 

14,000 

1,000 

3,000 



12,000 
3,000 
7,000 

17,000 
9,000 

7,000 



172 



403 

530 

700 
342 
1,017 
663 
883 



273 

719 

1,545 

550 
2,795 

830 



Source: New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and New Mexico State Engineer 
Office (1974, 1975a, b,c). 

-'Qal, alluvium; Tsj, San Jose Formation; Tn, Nacimento Formation; Tkoa, Ojo 
Alamo Sandstone; Kch, Cliff House Sandstone; Kmf, Menefee Foramtion; Kg, 
Gallup Sandstone; Jm, Morrison Formation; TRc, Chinle Formation; Psa, San 
Andres Limestone. 

-Supplies water to Fruitland, Kirtland, and Shiprock. 

11-51 



Table 11-12 

WITHDRAWALS AND CONSUMPTIVE WATER USE UPPER COLORADO RIVER 

BASIN IN NEW MEXICO 



Use 


1970 
Withdrawal Ccnsumpt ion 


Withdrew 


1980 
:al ConsrjTipti 

r Acre-Feet) 


en Wi.thdrav 


1985 
ral Consump" 


-.ion Withdraw? 


1990 

.1 Consumption 






(Thousands oJ 




Urban (Municipal) 


8.8 


3-9 


9.1 


4.6 


9-9 


5-2 


11.3 


6.2 


Rural domestic 


3.1 


1.4 


2.4 


1.6 


2.4 


1.8 


2.6 


2.0 


Irrigation 


209.8 


80.4 


335.8 


179-3 


395. 


223. 


451. 


265. 


Manufacturing 


.4 


.2 


.4 


.2 


.4 


.2 


• 5 


.3 


Minerals 


6.1 


2.3 


53.2 


45.6 


68.0 


59-8 


77.6 


69.I 


i-H Livestock 
t— t 


.8 


.8 


.8 


.8 


.8 


.8 


• 9 


.9 


M Stockpond evaporation 


3.5 


3.5 


4.2 


4.2 


4.5 


4.5 


4.7 


4.7 


Power 


24.7 


16.4 


49.8 


49.0 


58.9 


58.4 


65.6 


65.4 


Pish and Wildlife 


2.8 


1.0 


21.3 


6.6 


27.2 


9-7 


31.0 


12.6 


Reservoir evaporation 


24.2 


24.2 


31.1 


31.1 


31.8 


31.8 


32.1 


32.1 


Total 


284.2 


134.1 


508.1 


323.0 


598.9 


395.2 


677.3 


458.3 



After U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1976b. 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



the Bureau of Business Research, University of 
New Mexico. 

There are certain legal constraints to both sur- 
face- and ground-water use within the ES Region. 
The uses of surface water are governed by the 
Colorado River Basin Compact of 1922, the Mexi- 
can Water Treaty of 1944, the Upper Colorado 
River Basin Compact of 1944, the La Plata River 
Compact of 1922, and the Rio Grande Compact of 
1938 (New Mexico Laws, 1953). The uses of 
ground water are governed by the Declaration of 
the San Juan Underground Water Basin of July 29, 
1976 (New Mexico State Engineer, 1976c); the 
Declaration of the Bluewater Underground Water 
Basin in Valencia County, New Mexico of May 21, 
1956 (New Mexico State Engineer, 1956a), and its 
extension of May 14, 1976 (New Mexico State En- 
gineer, 1976a); the Order Declaring the Rio 
Grande Underground Water Basin of November 
29, 1956 (New Mexico State Engineer, 1956b), and 
its extensions of September 7, 1973 (New Mexico 
State Engineer, 1973), and May 14, 1976 (New 
Mexico State Engineer, 1976b). 

The surface waters of the ES Region are fully 
appropriated within these compacts. Future sur- 
face-water developments must be accomplished by 
an adjustment of existing appropriations. Except 
for the Puerco River basin, all future ground-water 
development is subject to approval of the Office of 
the State Engineer, State of New Mexico, under 
the rules and regulations of the declaration of a 
ground- water basin. 

The nature and extent of Indian water rights in 
the San Juan Basin are being litigated in Aztec, 
New Mexico. The outcome of this case could have 
an important bearing on the availability of water 
for energy development in the Basin. 

Alluvial Valley Floors 

Under the provisions of SMCRA, alluvial valley 
floors are to be protected from destruction by strip 
mining. Part 710.5 of 30 CFR defines alluvial 
valley floors as "unconsolidated stream-laid depos- 
its holding streams where water availability is suffi- 
cient for subirrigation or flood irrigation agricultur- 
al activities ..." (Federal Register, vol. 42, no. 239, 
p. 62678). Part 715.17 (j) exempts areas where "... 
the premining land use has been undeveloped ran- 
geland which is not significant to farming on the 
alluvial valley floors or unless the area of affected 
alluvial valley floor is small and provides negligible 
support for the production from one or more 
farms." (page 62687). 

The main areas in the ES Region that qualify as 
alluvial valley floors under this definition are the 
flood plains along the San Juan, Animas, and La 
Plata Rivers. All the alluvial deposits that would 
be affected by construction of the railroad and 



transmission line or by coal developments related 
to this construction are located along ephemeral 
streams where water availability is not sufficient 
for subirrigation or flood irrigation. The attempt to 
store water for irrigation at Pueblo Alto (5 miles 
east of Pueblo Pintado) was unsuccessful because a 
dependable supply of water could not be devel- 
oped. At present, all the areas of potential coal- 
related development are rangeland. 

SOILS 

A soil association map of the ES Region was 
prepared from information supplied by the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation 
Service, and General Soils Maps for each county 
(Map E). Descriptive information for the major 
soils in each of the associations and interpretations 
for selected uses of these soils are in Appendix 
Tables B-18 and B-19. The soil associations have 
been further grouped into ten broad categories 
based on their general relationships, including such 
factors as position on the landscape, potential for 
irrigation, and type of parent material. Individual 
soil associations are keyed by number to Map E 
and the Appendix tables. 

Group One 

Soils of the valley bottoms, flood plains, and 
terraces that have potential for irrigation include 
the Lohmiller-Navajo (1), Lohmiller-San Mateo 
(17), Moriarty-Prewitt (18), Werlow-Fruitland-Bill- 
ings (27), and Vermejo-Galisteo (20) associations. 
These soil associations occur adjacent to intermit- 
tent drainages and along river valleys. They are 
developed in fine to moderately coarse-textured al- 
luvium, derived from sandstone and shale. Soils are 
deep (over 40 inches in depth) and have surface 
textures that range from loam to clay. Subsoil or 
subsurface material varies in texture from sandy 
loam to clay, and substrata material may include 
gravel and cobble. Water-table levels generally 
fluctuate between two and seven feet. The soils are 
easily eroded, and deep, vertical-walled gullies 
occur in the immediate valley bottoms. Gravelly 
alluvium generally forms the divide between the 
valley bottoms and the uplands. 

Small areas with poor drainage and salt accumu- 
lations are scattered throughout these soils. The 
fine-textured soils are usually alkali-affected and 
have slow permeability. High water table, alkalin- 
ity, shrink-swell, and piping hazard are the primary 
limitations to development and use of these soils. 
The bulk of soils presently being irrigated in San 
Juan, McKinley, and Sandoval Counties are in 
these soil associations. 



11-53 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Group Two 

Soils of the gently sloping to undulating mesas, 
upland slopes and alluvial fans having potential for 
irrigation include the Del Rio-Silver (14), Penis- 
taja-Sheppard-Rockland (3), Doak-Shiprock (28), 
Shiprock-Sheppard (29), and Penistaja-Sheppard- 
Palma (16) associations. These soils are developing 
in alluvial and eolian deposits on ancient stream 
terraces or alluvial fans. The deposits are relatively 
deep over sandstone or shale. Erosion has left areas 
of these soils on elevated mesas and sideslopes. 
Surface textures range from loamy sand to light 
clay loam, subsoil or subsurface textures are loamy 
fine sand to clay loam. Substrata range in texture 
from loam to sand. Soils are over 60 inches in 
depth, with moderate to rapid permeability. Inclu- 
sions of shallow soils on sandstone or shale, soils 
with gravelly substrata, alkali-affected areas, and 
Rockland and Badland arc present in small 
amounts. The major portion of the Navajo Indian 
Irrigation Project is located on the soils of these 
associations. 

Group Three 

Soils on gently to strongly sloping and undulat- 
ing upland hillsides, valley sideslopes, flood plains, 
and alluvial fans include the Billings-Badland (35), 
Persayo-Billings-Badland (4), Persayo-Lohmiller 
(33), Penistaja-Lohmiller-Travessilla (15), Chipeta- 
Shippard-Shiprock (13), Persayo-Camborthids (10), 
Persayo-Billings (11), Persayo-Farb (26), Thurloni- 
Savoia-Concho (23), Hilly Gravelly Land (30) as- 
sociations. These soils are developing on residual 
sandstone or shale, in alluvium from these same 
sources, or in deep eolian sands. In general, the 
shallow and moderately deep soils (less than 40 
inches deep over bedrock) are developing in the 
upland areas on hillsides and valley sideslopes. The 
deep, finer-textured soils usually occur on the inter- 
mittent floodplains and alluvial fans. Surface tex- 
tures range from fine sand to clay; substrata range 
from shale or sandstone bedrock to clay. Perme- 
ability is slow to moderate in the finer-textured 
soils, whereas coarser textured soils have moderate 
to rapid permeability. Correspondingly, the 
coarser-textured soils have low water-holding ca- 
pacity and are more susceptible to wind erosion. 
High runoff rates occur on the shallow, clayey 
soils. Small inclusions of alkali-affected soils and 
very steep rock outcrops and escarpments are pres- 
ent. Gravelly, stratified alluvial soils also occur, 
particularly in the intermittent flood plains. 

Group Four 

Soils on valley sideslopes, alluvial fans, and hill- 
sides that are gently to strongly sloping, and shale 
bedrock or alluvium include the Las Lucas-Litle- 
Persayo (5) association. The soils of this association 



are developing in olive to gray shale alluvium or 
weathered shale residuum. The shallow Persayo 
soils occur on shale ridges and knolls; moderately 
deep to deep Las Lucas and Litle soils are develop- 
ing on valley sideslopes, fans, and hillsides. Surface 
textures range from loam to silty clay loam. Sub- 
strata are weathered shale. Seams and fine threads 
of gypsum and lime crystals are present in the soils. 
Permeability is slow and the soils are easily eroded 
by water. Moderately extensive inclusions of shale 
and sandstone rockland are a component of this 
association. Steep-walled gullies dissect some of the 
less-sloping swale-like areas. 

Group Five 

Soils on gently sloping and undulating plains and 
alluvial fans on sandstone bedrock include the 
Camborthids-Farb (32) association. These soils are 
developing residually from sandstone. The Cam- 
borthids are the most extensive. They are moder- 
ately deep (20 to 40 inches) and are underlain by 
interbedded sandstone and shale. Farb soils are 
shallow over weathered sandstone bedrock. Perme- 
ability is moderate to moderately rapid, and water- 
holding capacity is low to moderate. Surface tex- 
tures range from fine sandy loam to sandy loam. 
Substrata are weathered sandstone and shale. These 
soils are moderately susceptible to wind erosion 
when vegetative cover is sparse or has been re- 
moved. Inclusions of sandstone outcrop make up 
about 20 percent of the association. 

Group Six 

Cobbly, stony soils on gently to strongly sloping 
basalt-capped mesas and lava flows include the 
Basalt Rockland-Cabezon-Torreon (8) and Prieta- 
Thunderbird (22) associations. These soils are de- 
veloping on basalt-capped mesas in material weath- 
ered from basic volcanic rocks. Basalt rockland 
occurs as steep escarpments, mesa sideslopes, lava 
flow fronts, and isolated basalt hills or outcrops. It 
includes some shallow, rocky soils. Cabezon soils 
are shallow and have stony loam surface textures 
and cobbly clay subsoils overlying basalt. Torreon 
soils occupy the more open grassland areas. They 
are deep, with soil textures that range from loam to 
silty clay loam. Inclusions of intermittent lakes and 
depressions that contain water for short periods are 
also present in this association. Permeability in 
these soils is slow to moderate. 

Prieta-Thunderbird soils are shallow to moder- 
ately deep over basalt. Soil textures, ranging from 
stony clay loam to clay, are slowly to moderately 
permeable. Thunderbird soils are deeper than the 
Prieta soils and, like Torreon soils, occur in the 
more open grassland areas. Subsoils are slowly per- 
meable clay. 



11-54 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Group Seven 

Soils on gently sloping to steep and rolling up- 
lands with intermingled mesa breaks, escarpments, 
and benches include the Hagerman-Travessilla (19), 
Sheppard-Rough broken land (2), and Travessilla- 
Persayo-Rockland (7) associations. The soils of 
these associations occur on mesa tops and benches. 
They are usually shallow to moderately deep and 
are developing in residually weathered sandstone 
and small areas of weathered shale. Soil textures 
range from fine sandy loam to silty clay loam, and 
substrata are weathered sandstone or shale. Perme- 
ability is slow to moderate over bedrock. Rough 
broken land is relatively extensive and generally 
consists of a complex of very shallow soils and 
outcrops of weakly cemented sandstone, clay, 
gravel, or shale. The deep sandy Sheppard soils 
occur as broad ridges on upland mesas, and as 
swales on the higher parts and broad ridges on the 
lower parts of alluvial fans. Textures range from 
loamy fine sand to sand. The soils are rapidly per- 
meable. Major problems in these soil associations 
are high runoff and active erosion. Inclusions of 
Badland and narrow valley bottoms are usually 
dissected by gullies. 

Group Eight 

Soils that are usually cobbly and stony on mod- 
erately sloping to steep rough broken land, ridges, 
and canyon sides include the Argiborolls (24) and 
Argiborolls-Rockland (25) associations. These soils 
are developing in materials weathered from sedi- 
mentary rocks, primarily sandstone and shale. They 
are moderately deep to deep, and surface textures 
range from cobbly clay loam to cobbly and stony 
sandy loam. Subsurface and subsoil textures range 
from cobbly or stony sandy clay loam to clay. 
Substrata are shale or sandstone bedrock at depths 
usually less than 50 inches. Permeability is slow to 
moderate. Inclusions of Rockland are common, and 
soils in the narrow valley areas are typically non- 
stony and deep. These areas are not extensive. Alti- 
tudes range from 6,200 to 8,000 feet. 

Group Nine 

Soils on moderately sloping to steep canyon 
sides and rough broken land with narrow valley 
floors and rockland include the Rockland (9), 
Rockland-Travessilla (34), Rockland-Billings (12), 
Travessilla-Rockland (6), and Rockland-Bond (21) 
associations. These soils associations are dominated 
by rough, broken topography and rockland. The 
rockland includes escarpments, steep canyon walls, 
rocky ridgetops, rock slides, rock ledges, and steep 
breaks, all of which are dominated by rock outcrop 
and small areas of highly variable soil. Parent ma- 
terials are predominately sandstone and shale. Soils 
in the narrow valley bottom are deep and highly 



variable. They include the Billings soils with 
clayey textures and slow permeability. Travessilla 
and Bond soils characterize the shallow soils on 
moderately steep and rolling upland benches, sides- 
lopes and mesa tops. They have sandy textures, 
moderate to rapid permeability, and overlie sand- 
stone. Scattered inclusions of badland and gullied 
land are part of the landscape. 

Group Ten 

Gently sloping to very steep side slopes on 
nearly barren sandstone and shale exposures in- 
clude the Badland-Rockland (31) association. This 
association occurs where nearly barren exposures 
of sandstone and shale are prevalent. Topography 
ranges from nearly level, narrow alluvial valley 
bottoms and rolling hills to very steep slopes on 
escarpments and breaks. Badland forming in soft 
shale at differing stages of weathering is the most 
extensive land type. Soils in the narrow valley bot- 
toms are usually stratified and vary widely in tex- 
ture. Rockland includes escarpments, breaks, and 
steep mesa sideslopes. Small areas of highly vari- 
able soils are scattered throughout the rockland. 
There are numerous intermittent drainage channels 
where low intake rates and very low permeability 
produce high runoff after normal rains. Much of 
the area is salt or alkali-affected. 

VEGETATION 

The eight vegetation types that occur within the 
Star Lake-Bisti ES Region are: grassland, meadow- 
cropland, sagebrush, conifer, waste, barren, pinyon- 
juniper, and saltbush-greasewood (Map F). Geolog- 
ic and topographic factors (including elevation, 
slope and aspect) and variable soil conditions 
strongly influence the mosaic pattern of plant com- 
munities. Overgrazing by domestic livestock has 
affected the regional vegetation patterns. 

The vegetation is dominated by Colorado Pla- 
teau flora, but is influenced by flora of the Great 
Basin and the southern Rocky Mountains. The 
region is south of the Great Basin shrublands, 
which have predominantly winter precipitation; 
west of the Great Plains shortgrass region, which 
has predominantly spring and early summer pre- 
cipitation; and north of the Arizona and New 
Mexico desert grasslands, which have predominant- 
ly summer precipitation. Consequently, the vegeta- 
tion of the region has some similarities and some 
differences from each of the surrounding regions. 

The northern part of the region is sagebrush- 
grass similar to the Great Basin. Pinyon and juni- 
per are intermingled with this vegetation on sites 
with shallow soils. The climate is typical of the 
southwestern U.S., but some areas get enough 
winter moisture for the sagebrush to grow. Grass- 
lands predominate on a broad belt extending 



11-55 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



roughly from the northwestern through the south- 
eastern part of the ES Region. Pinyon-juniper 
woodland mixes with grassland in the south, where 
elevation is higher, slopes are steeper, and soils are 
shallower. In the extreme southwestern part, 
pinyon-juniper predominates on the slopes and 
mesa tops and sagebrush occupies most of the 
lower sites where soils are deeper. 

Grassland 

The grasslands in the region (Figure 11-18) are 
similar to the shortgrass plains vegetation because 
galleta and blue grama are major components of 
both. However, grasslands in the southern part of 
the ES Region have some aspects of the desert 
grasslands due to the occurrence of black grama. 
In general, the grasslands occupy sandy or shallow 
gravelly soils below an altitude of 6,500 feet, where 
precipitation is less than 10 inches per year. The 
grasslands are not uniform across the region and 
can be divided on the basis of species present and 
relative abundance of these species. 

In low areas a salt flat-grass complex occurs. 
Alkali sacaton is the major grass species, but gal- 
leta, blue grama, sand dropseed and squirreltail also 
occur. The most common forbs are sunflower, Rus- 
sian thistle and buckwheat. 

Where soils are deeper and coarse textured, a 
deep sand-grass complex is found. Grasses found in 
this complex, in order of predominance, are Indian 
ricegrass, galleta, mesa dropseed, alkali sacaton, 
blue grama, sand dropseed, spike dropseed, and 
purple threeawn. Hymenoxys and Russian thistle 
are the most common forbs. 

On uplands with fine-textured soils, a clay- 
upland grass complex occurs. Major grass species 
of this complex are alkali sacaton, blue grama, gal- 
leta, squirreltail, spike muhly, spike dropseed, and 
sand dropseed. Russian thistle is the major forb, 
and winterfat and fourwing saltbush are common 
shrubs. 

On uplands with loamy soils there is a loamy- 
upland grass complex in which galleta and blue 
grama dominate. Other grasses are western wheat- 
grass, alkali sacaton, squirreltail, sand dropseed, 
Indian ricegrass, and ring muhly. Russian thistle, 
plantain, mustard, peppergrass, prickly pear, and 
buckwheat are the most common forbs. Shrubs in 
this complex are fourwing saltbush, obovate salt- 
bush, Bigelow sagebrush, and Torrey jointfir. 

A half-shrub subtype also occurs as a disclimax 
grassland type. This subtype is found in areas 
where past disturbance, such as overgrazing, has 
resulted in broom snakeweed or Greenes rabbit- 
brush becoming dominant. The major grasses oc- 
curring in this subtype are galleta and blue grama. 



Meadow-Cropland 

The meadow and cropland (Figure 11-19) occurs 
adjacent to the San Juan, Animas, and La Plata 
rivers and within the boundaries of the Navajo 
Indian Irrigation Project. Grass meadows occur on 
wet sites along the river bottoms. Orchards, and 
garden and field crops grow on irrigated lands near 
the rivers. The Navajo Indian Irrigation Project 
lies generally south and within 30 miles of Far- 
mington. Currently (1978) about 10,000 irrigated 
acres of this project are producing crops. 

Sagebrush 

Sagebrush (Figure 11-20) occurs within two 
major areas of the ES Region. The first area is 
north and east of a line extending from La Ventana 
northwesterly along the south escarpment of 
Chaco Mesa to the Chaco National Monument and 
then northerly from Chaco National Monument to 
Farmington. Within this area, broad expanses of 
sagebrush are found in the west and south. Toward 
the northeast, the sagebrush becomes intermingled 
with other vegetation types, most commonly 
pinyon-juniper. 

The second major area where the sagebrush type 
occurs is south and west from Gallup. Throughout 
this area the sagebrush type is intermingled with 
the pinyon-juniper type. 

The sagebrush type is not associated with any 
particular soil association, but occurs in areas that 
receive more than 9 inches of rain annually and 
that have deep, well-drained, alkali-free soils. The 
halfshrub broom snakeweed is found as an under- 
story throughout most of the sagebrush type. Big 
sagebrush is the most dominant species found 
throughout this type. However, black sagebrush, 
Bigelow sagebrush, sand sagebrush or fringed sage- 
brush may be found growing in association with 
the big sagebrush. Based on vegetation components 
and soils, this vegetation type can be divided into 
three complexes. 

The loamy-upland sagebrush complex has blue 
grama, sand dropseed, alkali sacaton, galleta, squir- 
reltail, Indian ricegrass, western wheatgrass, and 
crested wheatgrass as understory grasses. Forbs 
found in this complex include lily, hairy goldenas- 
ter, buckwheat, prickly pear, plantain, wooly In- 
dianwheat, Russian thistle, and goldenrod. 

The clay-upland sagebrush complex has blue 
grama, western wheatgrass, squirreltail, alkali saca- 
ton, purple threeawn, sand dropseed, poverty 
threeawn, and crested wheatgrass as understory 
grasses. Some of the most common forbs found in 
this complex are goosefoot, mustard, bitterweed, 
leucelene, lily, wooly Indianwheat, and goldenrod. 
Winterfat makes up a major part of the shrub com- 
ponents in some areas. 



11-56 




Figure 11-18. --Grassland vegetative type. 




Figure 11-19. --Cropland vegetative type. 



11-57 




Figure 11-20. --Sagebrush vegetative type. 







_ ~*.ir j :*?** 1 l> 



IStt^Z?- ? **"- 



. '-• ri. f$ ■"*■./ 






■WW ■* ■'*■•";• — y.*-»* ■ -- 



V&4$ 



Figure 11-21. --Conifer vegetative type, 



11-58 



■.■■■■;W--,.; .-■;*•. ■■■;■: 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



The deep-sand sagebrush complex has blue 
grama, sand dropseed, western wheatgrass, galleta, 
squirreltail and alkali sacaton as understory grasses. 
The most common forbs in this complex are wooly 
Indianwheat, pigweed and spring goldenrod. In 
some areas of this complex, Douglas rabbitbrush 
makes up a part of the shrub component. 

Attempts have been made to convert some sage- 
brush areas to grassland by chaining, plowing, cut- 
ting, or spraying to kill the sagebrush. Where seed- 
ing has been done in conjunction with one of the 
above, crested wheatgrass was the most frequently 
seeded species. These attempts have had varying 
degrees of success. In the more successful conver- 
sion attempts, the areas are grassland initially, but 
as time passes sagebrush and other shrubs increase 
and again become dominant. 

Conifer 

The conifer vegetation type (Figure 11-21) is 
scattered along the eastern and southern edges of 
the region at altitudes above 7,000 feet where mois- 
ture available for plant growth is the greatest and 
temperatures are the lowest. Small pockets of coni- 
fers are located near canyon heads, along water 
courses, or on north and east slopes. One large 
block of this type is located on the Ignacio Chavez 
Grant in southeastern McKinley County and south- 
western Sandoval County; another is located in 
south-central McKinley County. 

The principal overstory of the conifer type is 
mixed ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Douglas fir 
is dominant on moist sites with less exposure to 
solar radiation, whereas ponderosa pine dominates 
on the more exposed or rocky sites. Pinyon pine, 
rocky mountain juniper, Gambel oak, and some- 
times quaking aspen may be intermingled with the 
Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. 

The most commonly occurring understory 
shrubs are Utah serviceberry, squaw currant, 
squawbush, and big sagebrush. Grasses and grass- 
like species include blue grama, mountain muhly, 
Arizona fescue, muttongrass, junegrass, squirreltail, 
pine dropseed, western wheatgrass, little bluestem, 
fringed brome, and sedge. Carruth sagebrush, blad- 
derpod, bitterweed, lupine, penstemon, and broom 
snakeweed are common forbs. 

Although parts of the ES Region are timbered, 
none of the areas that would be impacted as a 
result of the proposed action contain more than 
scattered pinyon and juniper. These trees are not 
used commercially and have little value except for 
firewood. 

Waste 

The waste vegetation type (Figure 11-22) occurs 
on steep slopes (usually 30 to 60 percent) where 
there is broken terrain with many mesas and hills. 



The general aspect is very rocky and somewhat 
barren. This type is associated with soils that are 
susceptible to erosion due to the steep rugged ter- 
rain. 

The most conspicuous plants are pinyon pine and 
juniper. Shrubs include cliffrose, shadscale, ante- 
lope bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, Utah servi- 
ceberry, fourwing saltbush, big sagebrush, and Bi- 
gelow sagebrush. The most common grasses are 
blue grama, galleta, sand dropseed, Indian rice- 
grass, and red threeawn. Ground cover of this 
vegetation type averages about ten percent. 

Barren 

The barren vegetation type (Figure 11-23), com- 
monly called badlands, occurs mainly in the west- 
central part of the region, where shale is exposed 
or lies close to the surface. The soils formed from 
the shale are high in clay content and highly resis- 
tant to water infiltration. Thus, the vegetation 
cover is extremely sparce (less than five percent). 
Most plants in this vegetation type are in the 
draws, washes and flats where there is more soil 
moisture. 

Where vegetation is found, grasses are the most 
common and include galleta, alkali sacaton, sand 
dropseed, Indian ricegrass, blue grama, Thurber 
muhly, and sandhill muhly. The most common 
forbs are Russian thistle and buckwheat. Shadscale 
shrubs and an occasional oneseed juniper tree are 
the main woody species. 

Pinyon-Juniper 

The pinyon-juniper vegetation type (Figure II- 
24) is the most extensive woodland found in the 
region. It occupies areas with shallow, coarse-tex- 
tured soils, such as mesas, rock outcrops, breaks, 
ridges, and rolling hills. 

The dominant overstory species in this vegeta- 
tion type at the higher altitudes is pinyon pine 
mixed in varying proportions with Rocky Moun- 
tain juniper, Utah juniper, oneseed juniper, and oc- 
casionally alligator juniper. Junipers dominate the 
overstory at lower elevations. 

In the northern part of the region the dominant 
understory is composed of Utah serviceberry, 
Gambel oak, mountain mahogany, cliffrose, ante- 
lope bitterbrush, squawbush, and Torrey jointfir. 
There is usually very little grass in the understory; 
however, some blue grama, Indian ricegrass and 
threeawn occur occasionally. 

In other parts of the region the pinyon-juniper 
type is found intermingled with either the grassland 
or sagebrush type. Where this occurs, the pinyon- 
juniper is found on the drier, more rocky sites and 
the other vegetation type is found on the moister 
sites with deeper soils. The pinyon-juniper type in 
these areas generally has an understory dominated 



11-59 




Figure 11-22. --Waste vegetative type. 




Figure 11-23. --Barren vegetative type. 



11-60 







Figure 11-24. --Pinyon-juniper vegetative type. 



■?«-~*~*su-&z.~ . - . ^^z^gs&ggiffim 



<•> «i 









'"^fet?? 



.^■'^'■.'■■i ••.•;».'•*;■• 'Ui-a-.- 



Figure 11-25. --Saltbrush-greasewood vegetative type. 

11-61 







Regional Analysis 



Environment 



by grasses. The most frequently occurring grasses 
are blue grama, galleta, alkali sacaton, red 
threeawn, purple threeawn, sand dropseed, squir- 
reltail, sideoats grama, western wheatgrass, needle 
and thread, and Junegrass. 

Forbs commonly found associated with the 
pinyon-juniper include nodding onion, tansy leaf 
aster, Indian paintbrush, goosefoot, gilia, golden- 
weed, pingue, lupine, beardtongue, threadleaf 
groundsel, and rock goldenrod. Along many drain- 
age bottoms, rubber rabbitbrush is the dominant 
vegetation. However, these areas are not extensive 
enough to constitute a separate vegetation type. 

Saltbush-Greasewood 

The saltbush-greasewood vegetation type (Figure 
11-25) occupies areas along drainages where soils 
are more impervious, contain high amounts of salt, 
or are alkaline. Fourwing saltbush is most preva- 
lent on saline soils and black greasewood is most 
prevalent on alkaline soils, although they may be 
found growing together and associated with obo- 
vate saltbush, shadscale, big sagebrush, and Bige- 
low sagebrush. 

Grasses growing in this type include alkali saca- 
ton, galleta, western wheatgrass, sand dropseed, 
spike dropseed, squirreltail, blue grama, and desert 
saltgrass. The most frequent forbs are Russian this- 
tle, goosefoot, stickseed, pussytoes, pepperweed, 
and summer-cypress. 

Endangered and Threatened Plants 

The entire ES Region was surveyed for plant 
species proposed for endangered or threatened 
status in the Federal Register (Vol. 40, No. 117, 
July 1, 1975; Vol. 41, No. 127, June 16, 1976) 
(Martin, et al., 1975, 1978; Spellenberg, 1976). Pe- 
diocactus knowltonii (no common name), proposed 
for endangered or threatened status, was the only 
listed species found within the ES Region. Plants 
of this species were found only at the type locality 
in Section 8, T. 32 N., R. 7 W., NMPM. These 
plants were growing in gravelly, sandy loam soils 
at elevations of 6,000 to 6,500 along the Los Pinos 
River. The plants were found between alluvial 
rocks under pinyon and sagebrush. This population 
is listed by the New Mexico State Heritage Pro- 
gram as occupying an area of about 100 acres. 
Records from the New Mexico State Heritage 
Program also list two locations where Pediocactus 
papyracanthus (no common name) have been found. 
This species has been proposed for threatened 
status in the Federal Register. These locations are 
in Sections 2 and 8 of T. 15 N., R. 1 E., NMPM. 
No plants listed as endangered or threatened by the 
State of New Mexico have been identified as grow- 
ing within the ES Region, and none of the above 
listed locations of plants proposed as endangered or 



threatened would be disturbed by the proposed 
action. 

WILDLIFE 

The Star Lake-Bisti ES Region supports an 
abundance of wildlife; more than 400 species have 
been identified. There is little quantifiable informa- 
tion for most species in the ES Region, but a large 
amount of biological baseline data has been collect- 
ed in northwest New Mexico. 

Wildlife Habitat Types 

The eight vegetation types in the ES Region are 
grouped into five broad habitat types that generally 
support distinctive wildlife species. The habitat 
types are Grassland/Desert-Shrub/Barren, Pinyon- 
Juniper Woodland, Ponderosa Forest, Spruce-Fir 
Forest, and Riparian. (Vegetation maps depicting 
habitat types are contained in USDI, Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 1977, Appendix C.) The follow- 
ing is a brief summary of each habitat type found 
in the ES Region. 

Grassland /Desert-Shrub /Barren 

This habitat type (Figure 11-26) covers the larg- 
est geographic area within the ES region. Soils are 
typically sandy and large barren areas are common. 
Much has been severely overgrazed by livestock. 
Dominant plant species within this habitat type in- 
clude green jointfir at higher elevations and rubber 
rabbitbrush, greasewood, and pale wolfberry along 
the dry washes and arroyos. Fourwing saltbush 
and snakeweed may be locally abundant. Typical 
grasses include galleta, blue grama, sand dropseed, 
and Indian ricegrass. Russian thistle and cheat grass 
are common on overgrazed areas. Much of the 
northern half of the region is dominated by big 
sagebrush. 

Piny on- Juniper Woodland 

This habitat type (Figure 11-27) occurs through- 
out the region. Typical tree and shrub species in- 
clude pinyon pine, juniper, big sagebrush, Utah ser- 
viceberry, oak, fourwing saltbush, antelope bitter- 
brush, mountain-mahogany, and cliffrose. 

Ponderosa Forest 

This habitat type is limited to small geographic 
areas within the ES Region. It is most commonly 
found at altitudes between 8,000 to 9,000 feet, and 
is restricted mainly to the Mt. Taylor area, the 
Zuni Mountains and small scattered stands along 
the extreme northeast boundary of the inventory 
area. Mixed stands may contain spruce, fir, pine, 
juniper, aspen, and oak, in addition to the dominant 
overstory of ponderosa pine. 



11-62 




Figure 11-26. --Grassland/desert-shrub/barren habitat type. 







Figure 11-27. --Pinyon-juniper woodland habitat type. 

11-63 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Spruce-Fir Forest 

This habitat type is limited primarily to the Mt. 
Taylor area and small stands at the upper end of 
Navajo Reservoir just outside the ES boundary. 
This habitat is co-mingled with the ponderosa type 
at lower elevations. Typical tree species include 
Douglas fir, blue spruce, corkbark fir, Engelmann 
spruce, and aspen. 

Riparian 

This habitat type is limited almost exclusively to 
the San Juan River drainage and small streams and 
lakes in the Mt. Taylor area. However, the type 
may be found during wet periods in association 
with several ephemeral streams and ponds through- 
out the area. Most of the vegetation within this 
habitat is found in or near water. 

Sensitive or Key Habitat Areas 

The San Juan, Animas, and La Plata River 
drainages are important riverine and associated ri- 
parian habitats. The biological importance of the 
three-river complex is indisputable; its aquatic and 
riparian biota ranks among the most diversified in 
the Southwest. 

Max Lopez Spring is located along a shale out- 
cropping on the southeastern boundary of the ES 
Region in Sec. 34, T. 19 N., R. 3 W. During dry 
periods the spring is one of two dependable water 
supplies available to wildlife for several miles 
around. Its setting among rugged cliffs surrounded 
with healthy stands of pinyon-juniper woodland 
makes it attractive to many species of wildlife. 

Eagle Spring is located in Sec. 33, T. 19 N., R. 3 
W., about two miles west of Max Lopez Spring. 
The site is in a sagebrush setting close to pinyon- 
juniper woodland and is part of the sagebrush/ 
pinyon-juniper ecotone. The spring provides a wa- 
tering area for antelope and numerous small birds 
and mammals associated with sagebrush communi- 
ties. 

There are several habitats that are essential to 
the survival and well being of several wildlife spe- 
cies, particularly elk and deer. Essential wintering 
range for elk and deer have been surveyed and are 
delineated in Map 11-13. Most of these essential 
wintering areas are along the perimeter of the ES 
Region, and are not expected to be directly impact- 
ed by the proposed action. 

Mammals 

A total of 74 species of mammals have been 
recognized within the ES region. Species occur- 
rence is summarized by habitat type in Appendix 
Table B-20. This section discusses nongame and 
game species of significant interest in the region. 



Nongame Mammals 

Most bat species found throughout the ES region 
are restricted to either ponderosa forest or riparian 
habitat with permanent water. More detailed infor- 
mation regarding habitat preference and food 
habits of bats in the northwest New Mexico can be 
found in USDI, Fish and Wildlife Service, (1977) 
and Findley, et.al. (1975). 

There are only two species of insectivores occur- 
ring in the region: the desert shrew and the vagrant 
shrew. These species are almost certainly wide- 
spread, although possibly in low numbers. 

The black-tailed jackrabbit is found occasionally 
in open ponderosa forest, but more commonly in 
grassland/desert-shrub/barren habitat. There are 
three species of cottontail rabbits within the region. 
The desert cottontail, most widespread of the 
three, is found in pinyon-juniper and grassland/ 
desert-shrub/barren habitats. The Nuttall's cotton- 
tail occurs in riparian habitat along Pine River 
(Harris, 1963). The eastern cottontail is found in 
the Zuni Mountains and Mt. Taylor areas. 

There are 33 species of rodents in the ES region. 
Of these, three species of rodents are restricted to 
riparian habitat with permanent water: the beaver, 
muskrat, and meadow vole. Both Hall (1946) and 
Bailey (1932) have noted the benefits of beaver to 
proper watershed management. Beaver, which 
were once exterminated by trapping in most New 
Mexico River drainages, are now common in the 
San Juan drainage. 

The grassland/desert-shrub/barren habitat is 
populated primarily by rodents adapted to dry con- 
ditions: pocket mice, kangaroo rats, and desert 
ground squirrels. In somewhat lower densities are 
found the habitat generalists, Bottoa's pocket 
gopher and the pinyon mouse. 

Prairie dogs are found over an extensive area 
within the ES Region (Map 11-13). Dog towns 
exhibit cycles of population growth and decline, 
and may be wiped out by control practices and (or) 
outbreaks of sylvatic plague (Findley, et.al., 1975). 
A diversity of white-footed mice and wood rats 
are widespread over the ES Region in the pinyon- 
juniper habitat. The Colorado Chipmunk and Cliff 
Chipmunk are found in pinyon-juniper and ponder- 
osa forests. 

Coyotes are, by far, the most common carni- 
vores in the region, especially in the grassland/ 
desert-shrub/barren habitat. Badgers and bobcats 
are equally widespread, though probably in lower 
densities. 

Big Game 

Black bears are found in the montane forests and 
mountain lions in the broken country of the Zuni 
Mountains and Mt. Taylor. Mountain lions may 
also be present in the higher country near Pine 



11-64 




LEGEND 



DEER RANGE 



Wi 



7/ D E * R WINTER RANGE 




t=: 



t^m 



ANTELOPE RANGE 



<L 



ELK RANGE 



PREFERRED ELK HABITAT 



PRAIRIE DOG TOWNS 



MAP 11-13. SPECIES DISTRIBUTION 



11-65 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



River Canyon. There are old records of a black 
bear and a lion in the San Juan Valley (Lee, 1967). 
A recent sighting of a mountain lion was reported 
in the Chaco Canyon National Monument area by 
Park Service personnel. 

Elk winter in pinyon-juniper woodlands near the 
upper San Juan River in Rio Arriba County when 
severe weather forces the herd from the San Juan 
Mountains of Colorado (Map 11-13). Gates (1976) 
and Findley et al. (1975) have pointed out the 
necessity of winter foraging habitat for elk and the 
need to protect their grazing areas from cattle. 

Elk also inhabit forest and woodland areas on 
and northeast of Mt. Taylor and La Ventana Mesa. 
A permanent elk herd of 15 to 20 animals occupies 
Mesa Chivato in the Ignacio Chavez Grant (BLM, 
1978). The Mt. Taylor population has been estimat- 
ed at between 60 and 80 animals (Raught, personal 
communication, 1977). Elk migrate during winter 
from the higher elevations of Mt. Taylor to mesas 
and woodlands along the northeastern area of the 
Ignacio Chavez Grant. These woodland ecotone 
areas are the principal wintering range for the Mt. 
Taylor herd and the static Mesa Chivato herd. The 
location of calving grounds in these areas is pres- 
ently unknown (BLM, 1978). 

Elk of the Nacimiento Mountains utilize the 
mesas and foothills of the La Ventana area as win- 
tering habitat (Map 11-13). Approximately 6,200 
acres of public lands support a winter population of 
50 to 60 animals. 

The mule deer is the most important big game 
species in New Mexico. Mule deer are widely dis- 
tributed throughout the ES regional in ponderosa 
forest and pinyon-juniper habitats (Map 11-13), but 
they range through all elevations and habitats 
(Findley, et al., 1975). 

The heaviest concentrations of mule deer are in 
the southeast on the Ignacio Chavez Grant, the La 
Ventana area, along the Continental Divide, Mesa 
San Luis, and Mount Taylor (Map 11-13). With the 
exception of the Mount Taylor herd, these areas 
support an estimated 750 mule deer throughout the 
year and approximately 1,150 mule deer during the 
winter season (BLM, 1978). 

The La Ventana, Ignacio Chavez, and Continen- 
tal Divide areas are principal wintering grounds for 
mule deer (Map 11-13). It is estimated that 78 per- 
cent of the density and productivity of the deer 
utilizing this habitat are influenced by the condition 
of these key wintering areas (BLM, 1978). 

Most of the pinyon-juniper habitat north and east 
of State Highway 17 supports resident herds; it is 
the principal wintering area within the region (Map 
11-13). The Rosa, Smith and Gomez areas support 
the greatest number of wintering mule deer and 
show the highest annual browse utilization (BLM, 
1976b). Public lands along the San Juan, La Plata 



and Animas Rivers support year-round resident 
mule deer herds. These riparian areas essentially 
have been withdrawn from livestock grazing, and 
support good habitat for deer and other wildlife 
species. 

The mule deer herds in the Chaco Planning Unit 
are restricted to the pinyon-juniper covered mesa 
tops and the brush-covered canyon slopes. Due to 
heavy grazing by livestock over most of this habi- 
tat, little mule deer use is noted in these areas. 
Information from the New Mexico Department of 
Game and Fish shows that mule deer occupy the 
Chaco Planning Unit year long, with the exception 
of some areas southeast of Gallup where the Cibola 
National Forest in the Zuni Mountains borders the 
Chaco Planning Unit. Heavy snows in the higher 
elevations force these mule deer to open areas of 
sagebrush interspersed with pinyon-juniper in the 
southern portion of the region (Map 11-13). The 
northeast half of Chaco Mesa and the area around 
the Chaco Canyon National Monument support 
small mule deer herds. The long narrow mesa be- 
tween Prewitt and Fort Wingate, which is north 
and parallel to Interstate Highway 40, also supports 
a small deer population. 

Although once abundant in open grassland habi- 
tat of New Mexico, antelope are now relatively 
low in number, especially in the ES region (Larsen, 
1967). 

An estimated 75 antelope are distributed over the 
grassland/desert-shrub/barren habitat of Ojo del 
Espiritu Santa Grant, 50 head are east of Cabezon 
Peak and 25 head are in the vicinity of Eagle Mesa, 
sixteen miles southwest of Cuba (Map 11-13). Ap- 
proximately 168,000 acres of the Upper Rio Puerco 
resource area can be classified as suitable antelope 
habitat (BLM, 1978). Of this, only 25 percent or 
42,000 acres are in good condition. 

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish 
has transplanted 240 antelope between 1939 and 
1967. From 1941 through 1956, the Department 
transplanted 211 antelope in eight different trans- 
plants within the Chaco Planning Unit. A resident 
herd has been frequently sighted south of Chaco 
Canyon National Monument and another herd has 
been observed ranging southeast of the Bisti Bad- 
lands. An estimated 25 antelope occupy the area 
around Counselor Mesa and 14 antelope are fre- 
quently observed northeast of State Highway 44, 
between Bloomfield and Huerfano. Two resident 
antelope herds have been sighted in the southern 
portion of the Pump area southwest of State High- 
way 44, and another in the northwest section of the 
La Plata area. 

During 1956, 21 head of barbary sheep were 
released in Largo Canyon (New Mexico Depart- 
ment of Game & Fish, 1967). The barbary sheep 
utilize the vegetation and rough terrain as escape 



11-66 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



cover, resting, and feeding areas. At present more 
than 100 of these animals are reported to inhabit 
the Largo Canyon area (San Juan Wildlife Feder- 
ation, public hearing on Navajo Land Selection, 
DES, Farmington, NM, September, 1978). 

Birds 

The ES Region supports a total of 283 bird spe- 
cies representing 23 taxonomic orders (see Appen- 
dix Table B-21). A detailed description of the avi- 
fauna inhabiting the ES Region is discussed in a 
report submitted to the BLM by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USDI, 1977). In the following 
paragraphs, the avifauna has been grouped by taxo- 
nomic order because of the number of species in 
the region. Where possible, orders are associated 
with preferred habitats and seasons of use. Informa- 
tion on such factors as breeding is included when 
available. 

Many bird species that prefer one habitat type 
are often found in other habitats in the region; e.g., 
a species commonly found in the grassland/desert- 
shrub/barren type may be almost as common in the 
pinyon-juniper type. Ninety-seven bird species in 
the region are directly dependent on a riparian 
habitat for survival and 81 species utilize this habi- 
tat for food and water. The grassland/desert- 
shrub/barren community supports 79 bird species, 
22 of which depend on this habitat for survival. 
The pinyon-juniper type hosts 108 species, with 14 
dependent on it. The ponderosa forest type, while 
not extensive, supports 92 bird species, with 16 
species dependent on it. 

NonGame Birds 

Wading birds inhabiting the ES Region are re- 
stricted to riparian habitats, with a few species 
being tied specifically to marshes. 

There are 17 species from the order falconi- 
formes occurring in northwestern New Mexico. 
Representatives include one vulture species, one 
kite species, three species of Accipiter hawks, four 
species of Buteos, two species of eagles, one harrier 
hawk, one osprey, and four species of falcons. The 
following raptors are . year-round residents in the 
region: sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper's hawk, red- 
tailed hawk, feruginous hawk, golden eagle, marsh 
hawk, prairie falcon, and American kestrel. The 
population numbers of raptors are hard to quantify; 
Hubbard (1970) believes that there has been a de- 
cline in numbers of birds of prey during recent 
years. 

There are ten species of owls in the ES Region. 
Seven species are known to breed there: the 
screech owl, flammulated owl, great horned owl, 
burrowing owl, spotted owl, long-eared owl, and 
saw-whet owl. The great horned owl is widespread 



throughout the region, inhabiting lowland riparian 
areas, woodlands, and pine forests. 

There are numerous song and insectivorous birds 
within the ES Region. Most are migratory, but 
some are year-round residents (Appendix Table B- 
21). The horned lark is the most abundant through- 
out the region. The horned lark is primarily a year- 
round resident of the grassland/desert-shrub/barren 
habitat. This species survives in many adverse con- 
ditions; no other species of bird is known to remain 
in some of the seriously over-grazed areas in the 
region (Ligon, 1961). The robin, western bluebird, 
mountain bluebird, and Townsend's solitaire are 
important year-long residents in the region. Half of 
the 18 reported sparrow species also are important 
habitants, with 7 common nesters and 2 abundant 
wintering species. The sage sparrow and gray- 
headed junco are the only breeding birds that 
remain during the winter. 

Game Birds 

There are 24 species of waterfowl in the ES 
Region, including 1 species of swan, 3 geese, 9 
dabbling ducks, 8 diving ducks, 1 stiff-tailed duck, 
and 3 mergansers. Six waterfowl species have been 
reported breeding in the region, primarily in ripar- 
ian habitats of the San Juan River. The remaining 
waterfowl species are migrants of the Pacific 
flyway; their occurrence is rare to commonplace, 
depending on the location of watering areas, time 
of year, and climatic conditions. Hunting is legal 
for all waterfowl species in the ES Region except 
the swan and goose. 

The upland game birds in the ES Region include 
5 important species. The scaled quail is the most 
numerous and widely distributed quail in New 
Mexico. This quail ranges throughout most of the 
region from the desert shrub/grasslands into the 
lower elevations of the pinyon-juniper habitat. 
Gambel's quail are recent immigrants into the San 
Juan Valley, and only inhabit riparian shrubland 
vegetative habitat within the ES Region. The quail 
population is unstable, with densities fluctuating 
from year to year. The population turnover is 70 
percent or higher per year (New Mexico Depart- 
ment of Game and Fish, 1967). 

The only established populations of pheasants in 
the region occur in the San Juan, La Plata, and 
Animas River complex. The turkey is another 
game bird within the region. The only populations 
of turkeys occur on Mt. Taylor and in the McGaf- 
fey area southeast of Gallup, New Mexico. The 
only known populations of Chukar partridge occur 
in the San Juan, Animas, La Plata River complex. 
Campbell (1976) states it is unlikely the chukar will 
ever become an important upland game bird in 
New Mexico. 



11-67 



Regional Analysis 

Both band-tailed pigeon and mourning dove are 
considered important game birds. Mourning dove 
populations are well distributed throughout the ES 
Region (New Mexico Department of Game and 
Fish, 1967). The majority of the birds migrate to 
Texas and Mexico during the winter, but a few 
doves remain as year-round residents. The band- 
tailed pigeon, which breeds at an altitude above 
4,500 feet, is found on Mt. Taylor. Zapatka (1975) 
reported that these birds range from La Plata 
River and Navajo Lake southward to Grants and 
Gallup. 

Amphibians and Reptiles 

At least nine species of amphibians have been 
found in the ES Region (Appendix Table B-22). 
The only species of salamander, the ubiquitous 
tiger salamander, has been collected from a wide 
range of habitats throughout the region. 

Most of the toads and frogs are found in riparian 
habitats in the ES Region. The spadefoot toad, 
however, is highly adapted to desert conditions 
and has been found throughout the dry desert 
grassland and pinyon-juniper woodland. Western 
spadefoot and plains spadefoot toads occur in wide- 
spread habitats, but they are usually found in 
washes at lower elevations, and have not been re- 
corded north of the San Juan River. A third spe- 
cies, the Great Plains spadefoot, also may occur 
within the region south of the San Juan River. 

The bullfrog, leopard frog, and chorus frog, can 
be found along the San Juan River. The leopard 
and chorus frogs also have been recorded in the 
Zuni Mountains and Mt. Taylor areas (Gehlbach, 
1965). The canyon treefrog has been found in 
rocky canyon pools associated with riparian vege- 
tation, pinyon-juniper, and ponderosa pine habitat. 

Two species of turtles are found in the region, 
the painted turtle and the western box turtle. 

In the ES Region, the highest diversity and 
abundance of lizards is found in rocky areas or 
habitat associated with sandy soils. The short- 
horned Hzard and the plateau whip-tail are wide- 
spread geographically and ecologically. Although 
the short-horned lizard is not abundant in the 
region, it occurs from desert to pine forest habitat 
(Harris, 1963 and 1967; Gehlbach, 1965). 

The collared lizard and eastern fence lizard are 
relatively abundant and widespread throughout the 
region. The collared lizard usually occurs among 
sparsely vegetated, boulder-strewn areas in pinyon- 
juniper and desert shrub habitat (Harris, 1963; 
Gehlbach, 1965). The eastern fence lizard occurs 
throughout the habitat types in the region, but is 
most abundant in rocky areas. The Great Plains 
skink and the many-lined skink are found only in 
the Zuni Mountains and Mt. Taylor areas. 



Environment 

Records of snakes within the region are scant; 
species abundance and distribution can only be in- 
terpreted from limited studies in northwestern New 
Mexico. The gopher snake, the western rattlesnake, 
and the western terrestrial garter snake are wide- 
spread throughout the region. The gopher snake is 
the most common snake in the area. The western 
rattlesnake is uncommon, but is found in all major 
habitats. Two other species of rattlesnakes, the 
black-tailed rattlesnake and the western diamond- 
back rattlesnake, occur only in the Mt. Taylor area 
of the region. 

Arthropods 

Terrestrial 

The arthropods of San Juan County were inven- 
toried by Battelle-Columbus Laboratories for the 
Bureau of Reclamation (1976). Terrestrial insects 
were sampled by net sweeps along established tran- 
sects and observation along ground transects. Col- 
lection sites were divided into grassland/desert- 
shrub, pinyon-juniper, riparian, and aquatic habitat 
types. 

The dominant insects observed were true bugs 
(Hemiptera), cicadas, hoppers, and aphids (Homop- 
tera), beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), and 
wasps, bees, and ants (Hymenoptera). The only 
desert order not sampled were grasshoppers (Orth- 
optera), which was attributed primarily to sampling 
technique. Insects observed in the ES Region are 
listed in Appendix Table B-23. 

The highest diversity and abundance of terrestri- 
al arthropods was observed in riparian habitats. 
The lowest density of insects occurs in the grass- 
land/desert-shrub habitats, probably due to over- 
grazing and the lack of appreciable precipitation. 
Flies were the most numerous insect present in the 
grassland/desert- shrub habitats. In the pinyon-juni- 
per habitats, true bugs were the most numerous 
insect, followed by beetles and cicadas, hoppers, 
and aphids. Riparian and aquatic airborne insects 
were represented by flies and damselflies (Odon- 
ata), respectively. 

Harvester ants are numerous in grassland/desert- 
shrub habitat, with some areas containing over five 
colonies per acre. Significant numbers of grasshop- 
pers also would be expected to occur in a grass- 
land/desert-shrub habitat. However, grasshopper 
densities are dependent on climatic conditions of 
the region. 

The most common forest insects are beetles, 
moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera); and wasps, 
flies, scale insects, and termites (Isoptera) (Keen, 
1952). The best known terrestrial insects are those 
that damage forest plants. Aphids, scale insects, 
spittlebugs, needle miners and bark beetles are the 
principal pest insects in pinyon-juniper habitats 



11-68 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



(Hantsbarger et.al., 1970). The arthropods reported 
to occur in the ES Region are listed in Appendix 
Table B-23. 

Aquatic 

Aquatic arthropods in the San Juan, Animas and 
La Plata Rivers have been studied by Graves 
(1967) and Sublette (1977) (Appendix Table B-23). 
Graves' study showed that mayfly (Ephemerop- 
tera), caddisfly (Trichoptera) and true aquatic fly 
larvae (Diptera), and several species of snails (Gas- 
tropoda) were the most numerous aquatic organ- 
isms present in the rivers. Graves' (1967) study also 
demonstrated a progressive decrease in aquatic 
density and diversity as sampling approached the 
downstream stations near Bloomfield and Farming- 
ton. This condition is a direct result of the silt- 
laden river becoming warmer and more turbid 
downstream. 

During the summer of 1966, the Technical Advi- 
sory and Investigations Branch of the Federal 
Water Pollution Control Administration, in con- 
junction with the Colorado River Basin Project, 
made a biological stream survey of the San Juan 
River. Their findings were as follows: "The San 
Juan River was characterized as an 'unpolluted' 
stream up to 130 miles downstream from Navajo 
Dam. In this reach, the riffle areas supported from 
nine to 17 varieties of benthic life. In all samples, 
clean water organisms, such as stoneflies, mayflies, 
and caddisflies were dominant." 

Fish 

Rivers and Streams 

The San Juan River is a large, complex and 
sensitive river ecosystem. Much of the aquatic 
fauna is dependent on natural enrichment of the 
soil and water of the watershed. The San Juan 
River has a variety of fish, both native and intro- 
duced. Native fish are species that have evolved 
and adapted to the ecological conditions of the 
Upper Colorado River System. The fish found in 
the San Juan River are listed in Appendix Table B- 
24. 

The sport fishery of the San Juan River consists 
primarily of a "put, grow and take" fish stocking 
program. The New Mexico Department of Game 
and Fish has stocked both rainbow and brown 
trout in the tailwaters of dams, but in recent years 
they have planted only rainbow trout. Fish food 
organisms such as mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies 
and snails are abundant in the river and play an 
important role in the growth and production of 
these trout. Because of the good growth rates that 
trout have achieved, a section of the river below 
Navajo Dam has been designated as "Quality 
Trophy Fishing Waters." 



The sport fishery on the Animas River is mar- 
ginal from the New Mexico State line downstream 
to its confluence with the San Juan River at Far- 
mington (Olson, 1962a). Brown trout, rainbow 
trout and channel catfish are occasionally caught 
around the vicinity of Cedar Hills, New Mexico. 
Fish collected in the Animas River drainage in 
Colorado during 1975 and 1976 (Smith, 1976), as 
well as other fish known to occur in the river 
within the ES region, are listed in Appendix Table 
B-24. 

The La Plata River fishery is representative of 
tributary streams in the Upper Colorado River 
drainage. Fish found in the La Plata are listed in 
Appendix Table B-24. A small section of the Los 
Pinos River flows through the ES Region. This 
section contains fish that are representative of the 
San Juan River Drainage. 

Lakes 

Several lakes contribute to the sport fishery of 
the ES Region. Navajo Reservoir, located about 15 
miles northeast of Blanco, is the largest. During the 
initial filling of the reservoir, the sport fishery was 
composed almost exclusively of rainbow trout. 
Later, channel catfish, bluegill and kokanee salmon 
were stocked. The lake is currently being managed 
for both warm-water and cold-water sport fish. 
(For a more detailed description of these lakes, see 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1977.) 

Cutter Lake is about 12 miles southeast of 
Blanco. Its game fish are primarily rainbow trout, 
although during recent years other fish species 
have been sighted (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
1977). Management of this lake has been neglected 
during recent years due to jurisdictional and local 
management disputes. 

Farmington Lake (also called Beeline Reservoir) 
is located northeast of Farmington. It is presently 
managed for warm-water fish and is occasionally 
stocked with rainbow trout during the winter 
months. Farmington City Lake, within the city 
limits, is managed as a warmwater sport fishing 
impoundment for the youth of the area. 

Jackson Lake, about 10 miles northwest of Far- 
mington, supports both coldwater and warmwater 
fish species. Rainbow trout are generally stocked 
during the colder months, although non-game fish 
predominate. 

Bluewater Lake is approximately 20 miles north- 
west of Grants. The sport fishery consists primarily 
of rainbow trout, and the lake supports heavy fish- 
erman use year round. 

The fish found in these lakes are listed in Appen- 
dix Table B-24. 



11-69 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Endangered and Threatened Species 

Within the ES Region, there are 12 species of 
animals that are on or proposed for inclusion on 
the United States List of "Endangered and Threat- 
ened Wildlife and Plants" (Federal Register, Octo- 
ber 27, 1976) and the New Mexico State Game 
Commission's Regulation No. 563, "Endangered 
Species and Subspecies of New Mexico" (adopted 
January 24, 1975 and amended March 7, 1975, De- 
cember 5, 1975, and May 21, 1976). 

Federal law (Endangered Species Act of 1973 - 
P.L. 93-205) established two categories of endan- 
germent: (a) Endangered Species - those species in 
danger of extinction throughout all or a significant 
portion of their range, and (b) Threatened Species 
- those species likely to become endangered within 
the foreseeable future throughout all or a signifi- 
cant portion of their range. The New Mexico State 
Game Commission Regulation establishes equiva- 
lent categories for the State of New Mexico. The 
State regulation refers to endangered species as 
Group 1 and threatened species as Group 2. 

The following animals in the ES Region are 
listed or proposed for listing as endangered and 
threatened species. Confirmed sightings, specimens 
collected, sources of information, and pertinent re- 
marks for these species are given in Appendix 
Table B-25. 

Mammals 

The black-footed ferret is the only mammal 
within the ES Region classified as endangered on 
both the Federal and State lists. The black-footed 
ferret occupies grassland habitat in association with 
Gunnison's prairie dogs (Findley et al., 1975), and 
they are dependent on prairie dog colonies for food 
and cover. Recent data indicates that prairie dogs 
sometimes constitute up to 90 percent of the fer- 
ret's diet. 

Confirmed sightings of black-footed ferrets were 
recorded near Blanding, Utah and El Morro, New 
Mexico in 1937 and again near Monticello, Utah in 
1954 (Jack Woody, oral communication, 1976). 
There have been no recent confirmed sightings of 
the ferret in northwestern New Mexico. However, 
since they are nocturnal and are seldom observed 
even where they are known to exist, their presence 
in the area cannot be discounted. Findley, et al., 
(1975) state that if black-footed ferrets still inhabit 
New Mexico, the species most likely will be found 
in the northwestern section of the State. 

The mink is listed in Group 2 of the New 
Mexico list. It has been found in association with 
permanent water in the San Juan-Animas drain- 
ages. Findley, et al., (1975) report the collection of 
mink near Farmington and La Plata. 



Birds 

The peregrine falcon is listed as endangered on 
the Federal and State lists. Hubbard (1970) cites 
the species as being a year-round resident and 
breeder in the San Juan Valley. Recent confirmed 
sightings of the falcon in the San Juan and Chaco 
regions indicate the area's suitability for sustaining 
a resident population. 

The peregrine falcon prefers brush and grass 
habitat near permanent water for hunting (USDA, 
Forest Service, 1975b). Cliffs with inaccessible 
crevices are preferred for perching and nesting. 
The falcon feeds on passerine birds and waterfowl 
when available, although it will take rodents and 
other small animals on occasion. The decline of the 
species has been attributed to indiscriminate hunt- 
ing and the ingestion of chlorinated hydrocarbon 
pesticides by many of the prey species upon which 
falcons routinely feed. Cumulative pesticide levels 
impair the bird's reproductive system, resulting in 
thin eggshells that break under the weight of the 
nesting adult. However, since the use of such pesti- 
cides recently has been restricted or banned, there 
appears to be an improvement in nesting success. 

The bald eagle also is listed as endangered on the 
Federal and State lists. Hubbard (1970) indicates 
that bald eagles winter in San Juan County, and 
have been sighted during mid-summer near Navajo 
Lake, but there are no known bald eagle nests 
within the inventory area. A breeding pair requires 
between 30 and 110 acres of undisturbed nesting 
territory (USDA, Forest Service, 1975b). The area 
must include large, preferrably live trees, or high, 
rocky cliffs within one-half mile of permanent 
water sustaining a fish population. Fish are the 
principal food source of the bald eagle, although 
they will also eat carrion when available. 

The Mississippi kite is not on the Federal endan- 
gered or threatened list but is listed in Group 2 of 
the New Mexico list. Schmitt (personal communi- 
cation, 1976) sighted the Mississippi kite near Kirt- 
land (June 2, 1972) in riparian woodland-shrubland. 
Unpublished records from the New Mexico De- 
partment of Game and Fish indicate that the spe- 
cies appears to be a vagrant in the San Juan 
Valley, although a westward extension of its range 
has been observed during recent years. 

The red-headed woodpecker is not on the Feder- 
al list but is listed in Group 2 of the New Mexico 
list. The species has been recorded as a possible 
breeder near Blanco, New Mexico (Schmitt, per- 
sonal communication, 1976). Their habitat require- 
ments appear to be restricted to low elevation ri- 
parian woodlands. It is believed that habitat de- 
struction and possible competition with starlings 
have been significant factors in the decline of the 
species in New Mexico. 



11-70 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



The osprey is listed only in Group 2 of the New 
Mexico list. Fresh fish are the principal diet of the 
osprey and the birds are usually observed near 
permanent water. Schmitt (personal communica- 
tion, 1976) reported sightings near Blanco and 
Navajo Dam during the months of June and July, 
1972. Sightings were also recorded at Chuska and 
Morgan Lakes in 1974 (Sanchez, personal commu- 
nication, 1976). While not in the inventory area, 
these two lakes are close enough to be influenced 
by activities in the area. 

Arthropod 

One proposed threatened (Federal Register, July 
3, 1978) wildlife species, the blue-black butterfly 
(Speyeria nokomis nigrocaerulea) may occur in the 
region. 

Fish 

The Colorado River squawfish is the only fish in 
the area which is on both the Federal and State 
endangered lists. Koster (personal communication, 
1977) reports that the squawfish was present in the 
San Juan River prior to closure of Navajo Reser- 
voir. Several squawfish were collected during the 
1962 preimpoundment fishery investigation (Olson, 
1962c). The most recent record of a squawfish 
taken from the San Juan River was reported near 
Bloomfield during mid-summer, 1966 (Olson, 1976). 
Squawfish have also been reported from the 
Animas River at Durango, Colorado. 

Colorado River squawfish need swift, turbid, 
warm waters and are unable to reproduce in reser- 
voirs or cold tailwaters found below high dams. 
The limited distribution and numbers of the squaw- 
fish is due, in part, to such modification of the 
aquatic environment as the construction of reser- 
voirs. 

The process of listing the humpback sucker as a 
threatened species has been initiated by the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service. The humpback sucker 
has recently been collected from the San Juan 
River in Utah. Historically, the species was indig- 
enous to the main stream of all large tributaries of 
the Colorado and Green Rivers (Holden and Stal- 
naker, 1975). The humpback sucker appears to 
prefer backwaters of big rivers or impounded 
waters (USD A, Forest Service, 1975b). As with 
the squawfish, construction of dams on the Colora- 
do and San Juan Rivers has gradually reduced the 
habitat of these native "big river" fishes. 

The bonytail chub is another rare native "big 
river" fish. The process of listing this fish as an 
endangered species has been initiated by the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Although the bonytail chub has never been re- 
ported in the San Juan River drainage in New 
Mexico, its presence is conceivable since this fish 



was found historically in the Colorado and Green 
Rivers and their major tributaries from Wyoming 
to Mexico. Alteration of habitat is thought to be a 
major cause of decline of the species. 

The roundtail chub, which resembles the sub- 
adult bonytail chub, is listed in Group 2 of the 
New Mexico list. It is found throughout the San 
Juan drainage. Roundtail chubs were abundant 
before and shortly after the impoundment of 
Navajo Reservoir (Olson, 1962c; Olson & McNall, 
1965), but the population is now low. It is suggest- 
ed that inter-specific competition with rainbow 
trout for food and predation by larger fish, such as 
largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and northern 
pike, has resulted in reducing numbers of this 
native fish. 

AESTHETICS 

Visibility 

Recent air quality assessments by Radian Corpo- 
ration (1978) for BLM indicate that horizontal visi- 
bility is quite good throughout the Star Lake-Bisti 
Region. Horizontal visibility is highest in the south- 
ern part of the region and lowest in the northern 
part of the region. The average annual baseline 
horizontal visibility in the southern part is 53 miles. 
Annual baseline visibility in the northern part of 
the ES Region away from the influence of the 
towns and power plants is 32 miles. 

On a diurnal basis, visibilities are normally high- 
est during the afternoon hours, when the relative 
humidity is lowest, when low-level fog and haze 
have been dispersed, and when vertical mixing and 
transporting winds are strongest. On a seasonal 
basis, average visibilities are generally lowest 
during the winter and highest during the summer. 
The primary obstruction to visibility in the ES 
Region are fogs in the winter, dust storms during 
the spring, haze, and suspended particulates. 

Noise 

Noise is defined as any sound that may produce 
an undesired physiological or psychological effect 
in an individual or animal or that may interfere 
with the behavior of an individual or group. Noise 
that will not damage hearing still can substantially 
disrupt the quality of life in an area and be aestheti- 
cally displeasing. 

To implement the Noise Control Act of 1972, 
the EPA has proposed a 24-hour equivalent level 
of 70 decibels (dBA) to prevent hearing loss. 
Levels established to prevent annoyance and inter- 
ference with human activities in all outdoor areas 
were 55 dBA during daylight hours and 45 dBA 
during the hours from 10:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. 

A recent study in the ES Region, done for the 
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, indicates 



11-71 



Regional Analysis 

that no significant long-duration increases over am- 
bient sound levels are occurring in rural areas. 
Short-duration noises associated with vehicles, 
planes and other equipment do cause brief increases 
in sound levels. Ambient noise levels at most recep- 
tor points distant from busy roadways ranged from 
20 to 40 dBA. Comparative sound levels are shown 
in Table 11-13. 

Increased sound levels can be expected within 
communities, near transportation facilities, and 
around industrial activities. Vehicles near major 
highways are, perhaps, one of the most significant 
noise generators. Aircraft noises occur from oper- 
ations at the Gallup and Farmington airports. 
These increased sound levels are usually of short 
duration. Train movement over the main line in the 
southern part of the ES Region produces increased 
noise levels during day and night. Some noise also 
is generated by industrial activities throughout the 
ES Region, but it is generally localized. The high- 
voltage power lines that traverse the ES Region 
emit varying audible sounds under certain atmos- 
pheric conditions. Generally, the noise level is rela- 
tively low throughout most of the ES Region. 

Visual Resources 

The BLM has developed a procedure (BLM 
Manual 6310, Visual Resource Inventory and Eval- 
uation) by which visual resources may be identi- 
fied, mapped, evaluated and managed on all lands 
administered by the BLM. This procedure involves 
classifying these lands into one of five Visual Re- 
source Management (VRM) classes. These VRM 
classes are based on the physical characteristics of 
a given land area and the way in which people 
relate to them. Three sets of factors are measured 
in determining the appropriate VRM class: scenic 
quality, visual sensitivity levels, and visual zones. 

Scenic quality refers to the variety of landscape 
features within an area. Key features used in deter- 
mining scenic quality are: land form, color, water, 
vegetation, uniqueness, and man-made intrusions. 
The relative importance of each key feature is 
taken into consideration in arriving at a scenic 
quality rating of A, B or C. 

Visual sensitivity level refers to the relative 
value people place on maintaining the present land- 
scape characteristics. The criteria used to deter- 
mine sensitivity levels will vary, since they must be 
relevant to the area being evaluated. Criteria may 
include such factors as community relationships 
and attitudes towards the land, type of land use, 
and value of land use. The criteria selected are 
used in determining a sensitivity level of high, 
medium or low. 

Visual zone refers to the amount of scenery 
detail apparent to a viewer. Three visual zones 
have been established by BLM: foreground-middle- 



Environment 

ground, background, and seldom seen. The fore- 
ground-middleground is that area within 3 to 5 
miles of the viewer. The portion of easily seen 
landscape beyond the foreground-middleground is 
classified as the background zone. The seldom seen 
zone is reserved for areas not likely to be viewed 
by the majority of people passing through an area. 
Visual zones are determined by what can be seen 
by viewers on primary roads, in use areas, and in 
communities within a given area. 

The appropriate VRM classification is found by 
combining the separate ratings for scenic quality, 
visual sensitivity levels and visual zones (see Table 
II- 14). Limits of allowable contrasts in form, line, 
color, and texture have been established for each 
VRM class. These limits, which are used in evalu- 
ating impacts, are also given in Table 11-14. 

The ES Region has been evaluated for VRM 
classification by BLM personnel, as shown on Map 
G. Approximately 60 percent of the region falls 
into Class IV. This area lacks outstanding scenery 
and has a low sensitivity level. About 25 percent of 
the region is designated as Class III. Compared 
with the Class IV area, this area features greater 
variety in vegetation, land form and color. The 
Class II area (about 9 percent) is differentiated 
from the Class III area primarily by the presence 
of water and areas of high use. Class I designation 
is reserved for special areas. The identified roadless 
areas within the ES Region, pursuant to FLPMA, 
have been given interim Class I designation during 
the assessment process required for permanent clas- 
sification as special areas. About 6 percent of the 
region has been designated Class I. 

It will be noted that no Class V areas are shown 
on Map G. Class V is reserved for areas where 
scenic quality has been reduced by previous unac- 
ceptable intrusions. The region does have several 
Class V areas, such as existing mines, material pits, 
and oil and gas development activities. They are 
not shown on the map as they do not affect the 
visual assessment of the proposed and alternative 
actions addressed in this ES. 

LAND USE 

Recreation 

Approximately 2,051,000 acres of the 4.8 million 
acres within the ES Region are public lands that 
provide various opportunities for recreation. The 
public lands in the region are characterized by 
open expanses of semiarid country surrounded by 
forested mountains. These mountains, especially, 
are suited to many recreation activities. The char- 
acter of the land, land ownership patterns, and 
road conditions all contribute to the lack of 
demand for greater recreation use within the 
region. 



11-72 



Table H-13 
SOUND LEVELS AND HUMAN RESPONSE 



Noise 








Level 




Hearing 


Conversational 


(dBA) 


Response 


Effects 


Relationships 



Carrier deck jet operation 



Jet takeoff (200 feet) 

Discotheque 

Auto horn (3 feet) 

Riveting machine 

Jet takeoff (2,000 feet) 
Garbage truck 

N.Y. subway station 

Heavy truck (50 feet) 

Pneumatic drill (50 feet) 

Alarm clock 

Freight train (50 feet) 

Freeway traffic (50 feet) 



Air conditioning unit 
(20 feet) 

Light auto traffic (100 feet) 

Living room 

Bedroom 

Library 

Soft whisper (15 feet) 

Broadcasting studio 



140 

130 

120 

110 
100 



70 



60 



Limit amplified 
speech 



Maximum vocal 
effort 



Very annoying 



90 

80 Annoying 



Telephone use 
difficult 

Intrusive 



50 Quiet 



ho 



q 

•H 
1 



s 

I 





■p 

§ 

•H 

o 

o 



I 



30 


Very quiet 


20 




10 


Just audible 





Threshold of hearing 



Shouting in ear 



Shouting at 2 feet 

Very loud 
conversation, 2 feet 

Loud 

conversation, 2 feet 



Loud 

conversation, 4 feet 

Normal 

conversation, 12 feet 



Source: U.S. Executive Office of the President, Council on Environmental Quality, 1975. 

11-73 



Table II- 14 
CRITERIA TOR VISUAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CLASSES 



Class I - Applies only to classified special areas, e.g., Roadless, Wilderness, 
Primitive, Natural Areas, etc. This quality standard is established 
through legislation or policy. Only natural ecological changes are 
allowed. 

Class II - Landscapes with Class A scenery quality, or Class B scenery quality 
in the foreground — middleground zone with high visual sensitivity. 

Changes in any of the basic elements (form, line, color or texture) 
caused by a management activity should not be evident in the charac- 
teristic landscape. 

Class III - Landscapes with Class B scenery quality and high visual sensitivity 
in the background visual zone, or with Class B scenery quality and 
medium visual sensitivity in the foreground— middleground visual 
zone or with Class C scenery of high visual sensitivity in the fore- 
ground — middleground zone. 

Changes in the basic elements (form, line, color, texture) caused by 
management activity may be evident in the characteristic landscape. 
However, the changes should remain subordinate to the visual strength 
of the existing character. 

Class IV - Landscapes with Class B scenery quality and high visual quality sen- 
sitivity in the seldom seen visual zone, or with Class B scenery 
quality* and medium or low visual sensitivity in the background or^ 
seldom seen zones, or with Class C scenery quality (except with high, 
sensitivity in the foreground— middleground zone). 

Changes may subordinate the original composition and character but 
must reflect what could be a natural occurrence within the character- 
istic landscape. 

Class V - Applies to areas identified in the scenery quality inventory where 

the quality class has been reduced because of unacceptable intrusions, 
or to areas that have the potential for enhancement. 

Change is needed. This class applies to areas where the naturalistic 
character has been disturbed to a point where rehabilitation is needed 
to bring it back into character with the surrounding countryside. 
This class would apply to areas Identified in the scenery evaluation 
where the quality class has been reduced because of unacceptable 
intrusions. It should be considered an interim short-term classification 
until one of the other objectives can be reached through rehabilitation 
or enhancement. The desired visual quality objectives should be 
identified. 



Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1975. 



11-74 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Developed recreation facilities within and adja- 
cent to the region are provided by Federal, State 
and county governments, Indian tribes, local com- 
munities, and private organizations. The Federal, 
State and county facilities are oriented primarily 
towards the attractions of water and archaeology. 
Some of the major developed recreation sites fea- 
turing these attractions are Chaco Canyon National 
Monument, Aztec National Monument, Salmon 
Ruins, Bluewater Lake, and Navajo Reservoir. Lo- 
cations of these recreation facilities are shown on 
MapH. 

The BLM, through its Recreation Information 
System, has evaluated the natural resources of the 
region to determine their capability to provide a 
quality experience for those participating in a spe- 
cific recreation activity. The quality rating of the 
experience is based on the existing condition of the 
recreation resource and other related conditions 
prevailing during the primary-use season of that 
activity. Recreation activities were rated into the 
three categories on Map H according to their capa- 
bility to provide a quality experience. 

Most of the recreation activities in the ES 
Region are of the dispersed type. These activities 
are listed on the back of Map H. For many of these 
activities, the spring and fall are the primary sea- 
sons of use. The amount of summer use depends on 
weather conditions, such as temperature, wind, and 
dryness. Winter recreation use in the region is pri- 
marily concentrated near communities. Water-relat- 
ed activities are the most popular form of recrea- 
tion in the region. 

The paved roads providing primary access for 
recreationists throughout the region are shown on 
Map A. Numerous other maintained and unmain- 
tained roads also provide access. Many of the un- 
paved roads lack signs, which discourages use by a 
general public unfamiliar with local conditions. Ac- 
cording to traffic flow studies made by the BLM, 
only a small percentage of the total vehicles on the 
primary travel routes within the ES Region, with 
the exception of Interstate 40, is from out-of-state. 

For the Navajo people in the ES Region, cere- 
monial occasions provide opportunities for recrea- 
tion activities. Navajo Chapters also provide other 
organized recreation activities for local residents. 

In 1976, New Mexico developed a State Com- 
prehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. This plan 
identifies outdoor recreation needs by development 
districts and presents an action plan to satisfy pres- 
ent and future needs. The ES Region lies within 
State Planning and Development Districts 1, 2 and 
3. Various types of State-compiled information 
concerning recreation activities, facilities, and acre- 
ages for individual districts, are listed in Appendix 
Table B-26. 



Transportation 

Highways 

The primary mode of transportation in the ES 
Region is the private automobile. Inhabitants rely 
on cars and pickup trucks, utilizing unimproved 
roads and dirt tracks as well as paved highways. 
The principal problems of transportation in north- 
western New Mexico are related to automobile and 
truck traffic. Highways carry loads beyond design 
capacities, and deterioration of roadbeds, surfaces, 
shoulders and associated structures is widespread. 

All of San Juan County and the western parts of 
Rio Arriba and Sandoval Counties are without any 
rail connections. Twenty to 25 trucking firms pro- 
vide short-distance freight-hauling in these areas, as 
well as in McKinley and Valencia Counties (New 
Mexico Energy Resources Board, 1977). 

Buses maintain intercity service along most 
major highways in the ES Region. These routes 
connect all the principal communities with the ex- 
ception of Crownpoint. However, rural areas are 
not served by intercity or local bus lines. On occa- 
sion, mining companies charter vehicles to carry 
workers to and from isolated operations. Urban 
areas also lack local public transit. 

The maintenance and improvement of the roads 
is the focus of the transportation plans of local and 
regional governments. With the increasing popula- 
tion, levels of traffic on major highways are also 
increasing. Average daily vehicle miles of travel in 
the five-county area rose by more than 80 percent 
between 1966 and 1977, and automobile registra- 
tions nearly doubled (New Mexico Department of 
Motor Vehicles, 1978). In the decade after 1966 
there were 1.1 additional motor vehicles registered 
for each additional inhabitant of northwestern New 
Mexico. 

Serious accidents have increased as road surfaces 
and structures have deteriorated from heavy use 
(New Mexico State Police, 1972-1976). Map 11-14 
identifies the major highways of the region and the 
deteriorated or unsafe portions as of 1977. Table Il- 
ls characterizes present operating conditions. 

While most major highways in the ES Region 
are improved and maintained by the State and by 
the BIA, access and feeder routes outside large 
communities are unimproved and not maintained. 
Roads in the Eastern Navajo Agency, with the 
exception of New Mexico Highways 57 and 197 
and Navajo Route 9, are generally deficient in 
rural areas of McKinley, Sandoval and San Juan 
Counties (Figure 11-28) and few highways are 
paved. Roads leaving Navajo Route 9 frequently 
become unmarked dirt tracks, impassible in wet 
weather (Figure 11-29). 



11-75 



% Quranga 



RESERVATION 




SOURCE: NEW MEXICO STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT. 197 7*. 
DEFICIENT SEGMENTS 



-^m 



MAPil-14. MAJOR HIGHWAYS IN THE ES REGION. 



11-76 



Table LI- 15 

HIGHWAY USE AND CONDITIONS IN THE ES REGION, V#f( 



H i g hway 



Sc&'.cr.t 



Design Speed 
Width (in miles 
(in feet) per '-.our) 



ADT^ 
(in thonsajid Condition ■ 
cars per -lay) Halin,^ 



Interstate Bernalillo-Valencia County 
);0/US b6 Line to Grants 

Grants to Thoreau 



Tnoreau to Gallup 



US 6h 



j us 5^0 



NM 32 



NM kk 



Gallup to Arizona-New Mexico 
Stat j Line 



Dulce to Rio Arriba-San Juan 
County Line 



Rio Arriba-San Juaii-Couuty 
Line to Blooml'ield 



Bloomi'iela to Fanrtiiirton 



Colorado-New Me:- ico State Line 
to Farndnrton 



Farr:inrton to Shiprock 



Cclora.io-New Mexico State Line 
to Shiorock 



Shiprock to Naschitti 



Naschitt.'. to Gallup 



Gallup to McKinley-Valencia 
County Ll:.e 



McKinley-Valencia Count;- Line 
to Valencia-Cat run County Line 



San Ysidro to Cuba 



Cuba to Rio Arriba-San Juan 
County Line 



Ul 


k 


bituminous 


2k 


8 


concrete/ 
bituminous 


27 


3 


concrete/ 
bituminous 


25 


7 


concrete 


L- 


s 


bituminous 


22 


k 


bituminous 


12 




bituminous 


23 


2 


bituminous 


3k 





bitur.inous 


17 


7 


bitui:.inous 


U8 


K 


bituminous 


MO 




bi tuminous 


1*1 




bitiuiiincus 


Ml-it 


bituminous 






,-ravel 


3y 


k 


bituminous 


kk 


7 


bituminous 



3i 
30 

2"-kk 

20-jO 

20-2 

32-to 

22-V; 

20-2? 

3' 

22-ltO 



70 

70 
70 
70 

U0-.0 
50-^0 



l0-70 



l0 
ISO 



9-10 

- 9 
-10 

'1- y ' 
0- 1 
0- 3 



c- ■, 

1- 2 

2- !. 
2- 9 
1- 3 

0- 1 

1- 3 
1- 3 



Ooo.-ieM on Flow or Conditio;-. 



1.1 miles of deteriorated surfi.ce 



_-'-3 miles .iudr-^ed to be unsafe, with 9-7 miles of deteriorated surface 

19. V miles Judged to he unsafe 

No structural deficiency identified; heavy traffic flow diminishes 
operating conditions 

No structural deficiency identified; heavy traffic flow diminishes 
operating, conditions 

h.'i r-iles judged unsafe, with traffic flow exceeding capacity and 
foul dation deteriorated 

l.k miles judged unsafe, with deteriorated surface 

U2.' 1 miles judged unsafe, with traffic flow exceeding capacity; 
foundation deteriorated 

5. 5 aiiles 'ucL;ed unsafe, 12.1 miles of surface deteriorated, 3-6 
miles of foundation deteriorated 

13-0 miles judged unsafe, with $}.6 miles of deteriorated foundation 
22.3 miles Judged unsafe, with 2Y.U miles of deteriorated surface 



No structural deficiency identified; heavy traffic flow diminishes 
operating conditions 

1. miles judr.ed unsafe, with 30..' miles of deteriorated surface 



Table II- X5 (continued) 



"rJ^Iajay 



UM W 



HM 53 



MM 57 



Sequent 



Rio Arriba-San Juan County 
Line to Blocmfield 



Blocmfield to Aztec 
San Mateo to Grants 



Grants to El Morro 



El Morro to Arizona-Hew 
Mexico State Line 



Blanco Trading Post to White 
Rock 



White Kock to Crownpoint 





Crownpoint to Thoreau 


MM 96 


Coyote to Cuba 


NM 112 


Regina to Llaves 


MM 197/ 
Navajo 9 


Cuba to Torreon 



Torreon to Crownpoint 

Crownpoint to Twin Lakes 

NM 264 Gamerco to Arizona-New Mexico 
State Line 

MM 371 Farmington to White Rock 
TOTAL All segments 



Design Speed 
Width (in miles 
(in feet) per hour) 



ADT= 
(in thousand Condition 
cars _ per day) Rating^/ 



Comment on Flow or Condition 



1+3.7 bituminous 

9,0 bituminous 
20 . 3 bituminous 



22-36 



kO . 2 bituminous 20-44 

hk.9 bituminous 20-30 

39.7 dirt/gravel 

27.0 dirt/gravel/ 
bituminous 

21.2 bituminous 

33.5 bituminous 
10 . 4 gravel 

25.6 bituminous 

60.0 bituminous 

43 . b i tuminous 

15 . 9 bituminous 



57 . 9 dirt/gravel/ 
bituminous 

1,026.2 all surfaces 



60 



24 60 
22-50 60 



50-60 



20 


to 


21+ 


1(0 


Sk 


60 


24-30 


50 


20 


35 


22-28 


60 


25 


60 


25 


60 


30 


60 


30 


to- 50 


20-50 


35-70 



2- 4 

2- 3 

2- 3 

0- 1 

1- 4 

0- 1 

0- 1 

1- 3 
0- 1 
0- 1 
0- 1 

0- 1 
0- 1 

4- 5 
0- 3 

0-10 



c 

c " 

B 
B-C 



27.4 miles judged unsafe, with 17.7 miles of deteriorated surface 

6.4 miles judged unsafe, with deteriorated surface 

2-3 miles judged unsafe, heavy traffic flow diminishes operating 
conditions 

29.3 miles judged unsafe, due to design 

8.5 miles judged unsafe, with heavy traffic flow exceeding capacity 

Route unimproved; poorly marked, impossible in wet weather 

20.3 miles unimproved, poorly marked, impossible in wet weather of 
remainder 2.8 miles unsafe, with 3-9 miles of deteriorated surface 

16.9 miles of deteriorated surface 

26.5 miles judged unsafe, with 21.1+ miles of deteriorated surface 

10.4 miles judged unsafe, with deteriorated surface 
9.8 miles judged unsafe due to design 



9.0 miles judged unsafe, with heavy traffic flow exceeding capacity 



41.5 miles unimproved, poorly marked, impossible in wet weather; of 

remainder 5.0 miles judged unsafe, due to design 

250.9 miles judged unsafe, with deficient segments on every major 
highway 



Source: New Mexico State Highway Depat ment, 1977b; U.S. Department of the Interior, T-ureau of Indian Affcirn 
-. ADT - average daily traffic. 



2/ 



Condition Rating is based on Adjusted Rating of New Mexico Highway Department, with A=75-100, B-50-74, C=*25-49 and D=0-24 with A indicating best conditions, D worst, according to terms of 
N ew Mexico Hig hwa y Departm en t , Ratings for Highway Improvement: Procedures Manual , 



HUak 



-■■~. .:;;-':.■.:'.,■ ' ." 




Figure 11-28.-- Open range and loose stock are traffic hazards 
in the ES Region. These sheep and goats are crossing 
Navajo Route 9 near Pueblo Alto Trading Post. 




Figure 11-29. --Unimproved roads in the ES Region often 
become impassable during severe weather. NM 371 enters 
De-Na-Zin Wash from the left in the photo above. 

11-79 



Regional Analysis 

Railroads 

The only common carrier rail service in the 
region is provided by the Atchison, Topeka and 
Santa Fe Railway (Santa Fe). The east-west main- 
line of the Santa Fe, consisting of a double track 
with automatic block signals, passes through the 
southern part of the region parallel to 1-40 (US 66). 

A branch line connects to the main-line approxi- 
mately 7 miles west of Gallup. Known as the Defi- 
ance Branch, this line follows a generally north 
and west alignment for approximately 13 miles to 
the Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Company's Mc- 
Kinley Mine. This branch is a single track line with 
no signals. 

Both the main-line and the Defiance Branch are 
listed on the Santa Fe system diagram map as Cate- 
gory 5 lines, lines for which the railroad has no 
plans for abandonment. 

In addition to the Defiance branch, two spur 
lines branch off the main-line in the ES Region. 
The first connects to the main-line in Gallup and 
roughly parallels US Highway 666 in a northerly 
direction for approximately 5 miles to the BIA 
supply depot near Gamerco. The other spur joins 
the main-line approximately 7 miles east of Gallup 
and is aligned in a southerly direction for approxi- 
mately 5 miles to the Fort Wingate Army base. As 
with the Defiance Branch, both of these spurs are 
single track (except at freight handling facilities) 
and have no signals. Traffic on these spurs is on an 
"as needed" basis. 

In addition to these lines, the Santa Fe maintains 
a yard at Gallup. Use of this yard has declined to 
the point that activities are limited almost exclu- 
sively to local traffic. A local delivers empty tank 
cars at an oil refinery east of Gallup, then returns 
with loaded tank cars that are added to through 
trains. Local freight is set off in this yard and 
freight handling facilities are limited. 

Gallup is also the location of the administrative 
office of the area roadmaster, who directs track 
and right-of-way maintenance for the area. The 
closest points where repairs are made to road 
equipment are Winslow, Ariz, and Albuquerque, 
with major repairs to locomotives being handled at 
four points in California, Texas, and Kansas. 

The Santa Fe, one of the largest of US railroads 
(third in terms of total track mileage), operates in 
the west, southwest, and midwest. The main-line 
through the ES Region is the only Santa Fe con- 
nection between its operations in California and 
Arizona and points to the east, including Chicago, 
Denver, and Texas. 

Present traffic density of the main-line through 
the study region is approximately 50 million gross 
tons annually, with daily traffic ranging between 20 
and 30 trains. This represents approximately one- 



Environment 

third of the capacity of this line as estimated by the 
Santa Fe. 

Traffic over the main-line is predominantly gen- 
eral freight; coal represents only a small portion. 
One unit train (approximately 10,000 net tons of 
coal) departs the Kaiser Steel York Canyon coal 
mine in Colfax County, N.M., every fourth day 
destined for Kaiser Steel mills in California. 

The McKinley mine on the Defiance Branch is 
served by four local trains every three days. The 
mine presently ships in multi-car shipments, with 
most traffic destined for the Arizona Public Serv- 
ice Company power plant at Joseph City, Arizona. 
A local train hauls empty cars to the mine for 
loading. Cars destined for locations other than the 
power plant are set off at the main-line, where they 
are picked up by through freight trains. The local 
then proceeds to the power plant, delivers the coal 
and returns with empties. These two are the only 
regular multi-car or unit train shipments of coal at 
this time. 

Daily passenger service, consisting of one train 
in each direction, is provided at Gallup by Amtrak, 
using the Santa Fe main-line. This train is the 
Southwest Limited, which operates between Los 
Angeles and Chicago. 

At one time, rail service was also available at 
Farmington. This service was provided by the 
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad on its 
narrow gage (3-foot) line, which extended from 
Antonito, Colo, to Durango, Colo., then south to 
Farmington. Except for a section between Durango 
and Silverton, Colorado, used primarily for scenic 
excursions, this line was abandoned in 1970 (ICC 
Docket Number FD 24745). 

A private 12-mile rail line is presently in oper- 
ation on the Navajo Indian Reservation. This line 
is used exclusively to haul coal from the Utah 
International Navajo Coal Mine to the Four 
Corners Power Plant. There are no other rail oper- 
ations in the area. 

Air Service 

Commercial air service is provided to Farming- 
ton and Gallup by Frontier Airlines. Commuter air 
service is provided to Farmington by Zia Airlines. 
Farmington Municipal Airport, a city owned facili- 
ty, handles 26 commercial operations daily. Direct 
flights are available to and from a number of cities 
in the southwest and to major regional airports at 
Albuquerque, Denver and Phoenix. The existing 
runways at this airport cannot handle jet aircraft 
presently in commercial service. Therefore, service 
is provided by two-engine turboprop aircraft. In 
addition to commercial operations, Farmington 
Municipal airport is used for general aviation oper- 
ations; approximately 81,000 such operations were 
handled in 1976. 



11-80 



Regional Analysis 

Senator Clark Field in Gallup, also a public- 
owned airport, handles 8 commercial operations 
daily. Direct flights are available to or from Flag- 
staff and Farmington, and the major regional air- 
ports at Albuquerque, Denver and Phoenix. As 
with Farmington, the runway length of this airport 
limits service to two-engine turboprop aircraft. Ap- 
proximately 24,000 general aviation operations 
were handled by this airport in 1976. 

Albuquerque International Airport shares facili- 
ties with Kirtland Air Force Base. This airport is 
served by 4 major airlines and is capable of han- 
dling all non-wide body aircraft in the commercial 
fleet. Direct connections are available to major air- 
ports throughout the nation. In addition to com- 
mercial and military operations, this airport han- 
dled approximately 117,000 general aviation oper- 
ations in 1976. 

General aviation operates in the Star Lake-Bisti 
area at 14 additional airports or landing strips. 
Three of these airports, Crownpoint, Shiprock and 
Grants-Milan Municipal Airport, are classified by 
the Federal Aviation Administration as "general 
utility airports" with a maximum takeoff weight of 
12,000 pounds. The remaining facilities, seven of 
which are private, are essentially landing strips ca- 
pable only of handling smaller private aircraft. 

Grazing 

Livestock grazing is the most extensive land use 
in the region, covering approximately 96 percent of 
the total surface. The number of animals that can 
be supported on a given acreage is dependent on 
the amount of usable forage produced annually, 
which is directly related to soil and vegetation 
types, climate, and range condition. The present 
grazing capacity for the region is based on BLM 
planning system information. Table 11-16 shows 
planning unit production figures for vegetative sub- 
types, expressed in animal unit month (AUMs). An 
AUM is the forage required to support one mature 
cow and calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for 
one month. The acreage of the various vegetative 
sub-types is indicated and includes public and other 
lands within the ES boundary. The production fig- 
ures were separated by planning unit because of 
the diversity in soil types, climate, and present 
level of management. The three planning units are 
discussed separately. (See Map A for planning unit 
boundaries.) The BLM, pursuant to the objectives 
of FLFMA, is developing Allotment Management 
Plans (AMPs) for all grazing allotments in the 
three planning units. The AMPs, which are ana- 
lyzed in grazing environmental statements, pre- 
scribe some form of pasture-rotation grazing 
system, along with necessary range improvements. 
The Rio Puerco grazing statement was filed in 
1978; the San Juan and Chaco statements are 



Environment 

scheduled for completion in 1982 and 1984, respec- 
tively. 

Rio Puerco Planning Unit 

The Rio Puerco Planning Unit comprises 511,916 
acres in the southeast portion of the ES Region, 
393,083 of which are public lands managed by 
BLM. At the present time, 134 licensees are per- 
mitted to graze 58,225 AUMs on 96 allotments in 
the area. Of the 96 existing allotments, 21 have 
AMPs implemented on 143,865 acres of public 
lands. Under the grazing ES proposal, the number 
of allotments would be reduced to 61, with AMPs 
implemented on 57, three reserved for wildlife use, 
and one 96-acre allotment would not be licensed. 
The pasture rotation systems would necessitate ad- 
ditional stock watering developments, fencing, catt- 
leguards, and stock trails, and some change in 
vegetative species. The predicted response to the 
grazing systems is increased forage production on 
all lands from 69,446 to 121,788 AUMs by the year 
2000. The range condition is expected to improve 
from the present 137,541 acres in good condition, 
268,828 acres in fair condition, and 85,651 acres in 
poor condition to 327,101 acres in good condition, 
132,363 acres in fair condition, and 32,556 acres in 
poor condition. Along with the increased forage 
production, it is expected that the improvement in 
range condition will provide for improved wildlife 
habitat and a marked decrease in soil erosion and 
sediment yield, thus improving quality of the sur- 
face water. 

Changes in the species composition of vegetation 
on 39,600 acres of the big sagebrush subtype has 
been completed, resulting in the addition of cool 
season grass species to what had been mostly warm 
season species; in addition, the watershed condi- 
tions have been improved. 

Approximately 16,000 acres of the pinyon-juni- 
per subtype have been chained, resulting in an in- 
crease in forage vegetation. This chaining has also 
resulted in a change in erosion-condition class from 
moderate to slight, due to the increase in low 
growing vegetation and litter accumulation. The 
effectiveness of manipulating the composition of 
vegetative species varies between projects but, in 
most cases, the treatments have resulted in an in- 
creased grazing capacity. 

San Juan Planning Unit 

The San Juan Planning Unit, in the northern half 
of the ES Region, comprises approximately 
1,319,200 acres of grazing land producing 93,889 
AUMs of forage. An extended period of below 
average precipitation during the last three years 
has caused a considerable drop in forage produc- 
tion and an overall downward trend in range con- 
dition. Although grazing pressure has been reduced 



11-81 



Table 11-16 
ESTIMATED PRESENT FORAGE PRODUCTION BY VEGETATIVE SUB-TYPE 



BLM 
Planning Unit 


Vegetative 
Sub-Type 


Acres— 


Production 
in AUMsi/ 


San Juan 

Chaco 

Rio Puerco 


Short grass 
Short grass 
Short grass 

Subtotal 


59,600 

1,414,150 

150,126 

1,623,876" 


4,967 

110,480 

24,640 

140,087 


San Juan 

Chaco 

Rio Puerco 


Big Sagebrush 

Big Sagebrush 

Big Sagebrush 

Subtotal 


551,400 

636,003 

95,145 

1,282,548 


41, 714 

56,786 

16,116 

124,616 


San Juan 

Chaco 

Rio Puerco 


Pinyon- j uniper 
Piny on- j uniper 
Pinyon- j uniper 
Subtotal 


528,400 

582,322 

181,716 

1,292,438 


27,424 
30,017 
19,922 

77,363 


San Juan 

Chaco 

Rio Puerco 


Greasewood 

Greasewood 

Greasewood 

Subtotal 


39,100 

11,920 

8,974 

59,994 


4,887 
1,490 
1,050 
7,430 


San Juan 
Rio Puerco 


Saltbush 
Saltbush 
Subtotal 


7,200 
18,428 
25,628 


232 
4,144 
4,376 


Chaco 

Rio Puerco 


Half Shrub 

Half Shrub 

Subtotal 


5,600 

14,693 
20,293 


386 
1,970 
2,356 


Chaco 


Annual Forbs 
Subtotal 


5,440 
5,440 


604 
604 


Rio Puerco 


Ponderosa Pine 
Subtotal 


8,638 

8,638 


1,186 
1,186 


San Juan 

Chaco 

Rio Puerco 


Steep Rocky 
Steep Rocky 
Steep Rocky 
Subtotal 


124,200 

108,322 

10,436 

242,958 


4,600 

4,012 

388 




9,000 


San Juan 

Chaco 

Rio Puerco 


Badlands 
Badlands 
Badlands 
Subtotal 


9,300 
31,360 

3,864 
44,524 


65 
914 

27 
1,006 


RANGELAND TOTAL 




4,606,337 


368,024 



11-82 



Table 11-16 (continued) 



BIJVI 




Vegetative 


Acres— 


Production 
in AUMs-/ 


Planning Unit 




Sub-Type 


San Juan 




Farmland 


81,100 


_ 


Chaco 




Farmland 


20,000 


- 


Rio Puerco 




Farmland 


1*3 


- 






Subtotal 


101,143 




OTHER NON-RANGELANDS^ 




60,981 


■ 


GRAND TOTAL 






4,768,461 


368,024 



Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, I9Y5a, 
1975b, 1976b. 

= Acres include public lands and all other lands within the ES Region. 
2/ AUMs (animal unit months) estimated at 50-percent level of utilization 

of key forage species. 
3/ Acreage includes municipalities, national parks, industrial sites, 

surface water, roads, and railroads. 



11-83 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



during this period, the range condition cannot be 
expected to improve until sufficient moisture is re- 
ceived during the growing season and the stocking 
rates and seasons of use can be adjusted. At the 
present time, 240 operators are licensed to graze 
livestock on 127 allotments. Two other allotments, 
both leased to the Navajo Tribe under a Section 15 
lease, lie for the most part within the boundaries of 
the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project and, therefore, 
are not included in this discussion. Of the 127 graz- 
ing allotments, 99 are licensed to graze cattle only, 
7 are licensed to graze cattle and sheep, 17 are 
licensed to graze sheep only, 3 are used by horses, 
and 1 is reserved for wildlife use. 

The present production and use in each allot- 
ment has been tabulated, using data from grazing 
case files, and AUM use awarded accordingly. A 
combination of outdated data and poor moisture 
conditions has resulted in 34 allotments being 
judged over-obligated, based on present range con- 
ditions. Consistent use during the growing season, 
without a rest period, has contributed to a decline 
in plant vigor and species composition on allot- 
ments grazed throughout the year. As in the Rio 
Puerco Planning Unit, a grazing Environmental 
Impact Statement will be completed, with manage- 
ment plans for all allotments. Presently there are 
fifteen fully implemented AMPs in the planning 
unit. Forty allotment analyses were completed by 
September 30, 1977, and the remaining 40 will be 
completed by November 1978. The allotments with 
AMPs will require two or more complete grazing 
cycles to reach specific objectives. The grazing 
systems vary between allotments. Each allotment 
has different limitations in pasture size, season of 
use, availability of livestock watering facilities, ac- 
cessibility, and other factors. Each AMP, however, 
provides for some form of rotational grazing, with 
growing season rest periods and livestock manage- 
ment used as the primary methods of improving 
the rangeland. By necessity, additional water devel- 
opments, fencing, and changes in vegetative species 
will also be prescribed. Several types of vegetative 
developments have been completed, primarily in 
areas of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper types. Ap- 
proximately 25,000 acres of sagebrush have been 
plowed and seeded, resulting in the conversion of 
brush to grassland. In addition to plowing, 68,800 
acres of sagebrush have been chained to reduce 
sagebrush density. Approximately 28,000 acres of 
pinyon-juniper have also been chained. Some of the 
chaining projects have included aerial and hand- 
broadcast seeding treatments. The results of the 
treatments vary in effectiveness, depending on the 
type of treatment, moisture conditions, subsequent 
management, and maintenance. Grazing capacity 
measurements on treated and untreated areas of 
both vegetative types were made on seven allot- 



ments. The grazing capacity on the treated sage- 
brush type ranged from 2.7 to 17.2 acres/AUM, 
compared to a range of 9.4 to 35.7 acres/AUM on 
the untreated sagebrush type. Grazing capacity fig- 
ures for treated pinyon-juniper types ranged be- 
tween 3.2 and 5.9 acres/AUM, while the capacity 
figures on the untreated pinyon-juniper types 
ranged from 11.3 to 125 acres/AUM. Changes are 
needed in some of the other vegetative types at 
small isolated sites, but many limitations often are 
imposed by topography, soils or other factors. 

Chaco Planning Unit 

The Chaco Planning Unit is situated in the 
southwestern portion of the region and is the larg- 
est of the three planning units. Public lands make 
up 22 percent of the total 2,815,117 acres and, 
except for some blocked lands along the north and 
east boundaries, consist of scattered tracts through- 
out the unit. Other surface ownership includes ac- 
quired lands (administered by both the BIA and 
BLM), Indian and non-Indian private lands, Indian 
withdrawal lands, State land, and National Park 
Service land. These varied patterns of surface-land 
ownership and administrative jurisdiction seriously 
affect the management of the range resource in the 
unit. The Navajo Tribe, in an effort to consolidate 
land ownership and use in the Eastern Navajo (off- 
Navajo Indian Reservation) area, entered into a 
program to acquire land by purchase, exchange or 
legislation. A cooperative agreement for the graz- 
ing administration of this area was subsequently 
entered into by the BLM, BIA and the Navajo 
Tribe in 1966. Under the agreement, the grazing 
administration on 39 Indian communities and indi- 
vidual allotments was transferred from the BLM to 
the BIA and the Navajo Tribe. Two communities 
with 147 Indian and non-Indian livestock operators, 
as well as 39 non-Indian allottees or lessees, re- 
mained under BLM grazing administration. The 
Navajo Tribe has sole jurisdiction on 11 Tribal 
ranches covering 295,699 acres. The Range Re- 
sources Department of the Navajo Tribe presently 
leases 49,356 AUMs on these ranches to 46 individ- 
ual Navajo Indian operators. In addition, the 
Navajo Tribe operates ram and bull pastures for 
Navajo livestockmen. Rams and billy goats are pas- 
tured from May to November and bulls from No- 
vember to May. As with the regular ranch oper- 
ation, a set grazing fee is charged for all AUMs 
utilized on the Tribal ranches. The 39 communities 
administered jointly by the BIA and the Navajo 
Tribe include 1,380,771 acres, 24 percent of which 
are public lands leased for grazing to the Navajo 
Tribe and subsequently leased by the Tribe to indi- 
vidual Navajo livestockmen. The BIA and Navajo 
Tribe issue grazing permits to 2,447 operators on 
907 separate range units. Other lands in the range 



11-84 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



units include individual Indian allotments, Navajo 
Tribal Fee lands, State leased lands, and Tribal 
Trust lands. The BIA collects grazing fees from 
individual permittees and then reimburses the 
Navajo Tribe and individual allotment owners who 
are not using their own land. Grazing fee monies 
paid to the Navajo Tribe are used to pay for tribal- 
ly leased lands and tribal fee lands which are in- 
cluded in the range units. Land boards made up of 
elected Navajo livestockmen have been given the 
responsibility of determining range unit boundaries 
and land users. 

Within the historic past, Navajo culture has been 
based on subsistence-type ranching, with close ties 
between the Navajo and his land. The rural Navajo 
people have largely depended on livestock grazing 
for their livelihood. The number of livestock 
owned is a sign of wealth and prosperity. The land 
board members, who are themselves a part of this 
culture, have been greatly influenced by this tradi- 
tion. A grazing system has resulted that is made up 
of a large number of small range units (160 acres in 
some cases), each used by several permit holders 
grazing their own herds of sheep, goats or cows on 
a year-long basis. The limited grazing capacity of 
the area simply cannot support such a system of 
grazing when an excessive number of animals graze 
the same area year after year. The most recent 
livestock count from the BIA annual range man- 
agement report indicates that in 1976, 15,891 cattle, 
9,625 horses, and 111,918 sheep and goats were 
utilizing the 1,380,771 acres under the BIA-Navajo 
Tribe grazing permit system. The above acreages 
under permit make up approximtely 50 percent of 
the total planning unit area. An indication of the 
overstocking in this area is evident when one com- 
pares the above stocking rate (574,788 AUMs) with 
the BLM planning-unit resource-inventory forage- 
production figures which show 204,689 AUMs of 
forage were being produced on the entire planning 
unit. This area, making up half of the total acreage 
is presently being stocked at almost three times the 
proper stocking rate for the whole planning unit. 
This type of year-long grazing pressure, combined 
with below average precipitation during the last 
three years, has resulted in a severely overgrazed 
range and soil erosion problems. Because of the 
deteriorated rangeland, most of the livestockmen 
have been forced to supplement the forage with 
alfalfa hay and grain. Despite this supplemental 
feeding, there are still yearly reports of deaths at- 
tributed to livestock utilization of poisonous plants 
in the absence of desirable forage plants and, in 
some cases, to starvation. 

In an attempt to alleviate the over-utilization of 
rangeland, the BIA and the Navajo Tribe have 
arranged horse sales at various locations to encour- 
age stockmen to reduce the number of surplus 



horses. Also, attempts to promote a change from 
sheep to cattle use have been made. These attempts 
have met with very limited success. The horse 
sales have been unsuccessful mainly because these 
animals are a status symbol to Navajo stockmen, 
even though very few horses are used in ranching 
operations and most are allowed to run free. The 
traditional herding patterns, trading post economy, 
rug weaving, and easier handling of sheep has 
caused many Navajo to resist the change from 
sheep to cattle. This reluctance virtually assures 
the continued existence of severely over-utilized 
areas around homes and livestock watering areas. 

Improved range management practices are possi- 
ble on the 41 allotments comprising the better 
blocked public domain area in the unit. There are 
approximately 20,000 head of sheep and goats and 
2,500 head of cattle licensed to graze public lands 
on the 41 allotments. There is a trespass problem 
on individual allotments that border Indian com- 
munities, since very few of the boundary fences are 
woven wire. Both sheep and horses trespass into 
the allotments. The BLM has recently initiated a 
program to impound all livestock found in trespass, 
in an attempt to end the problem. 

There are two AMPs in the planning unit, both 
of which are fully implemented. Although there 
have been problems with dependable watering 
places and insufficient forage production during 
drought periods, the allotments have shown a defi- 
nite improvement, especially in vigor and produc- 
tion of desirable forage plants. The average calf 
weaning weight on one of the allotments has in- 
creased from 380 to 462 pounds in the three years 
since the management plan was implemented. Sev- 
eral cycles of the grazing system will be required 
before the allotment becomes stabilized. 

The only vegetative development in the unit has 
been the chaining, without seeding, of aproximately 
39,000 acres of sagebrush. The increased soil mois- 
ture and water infiltration that result from chaining 
increased the forage production by two to three 
hundred percent in the first three to five years. The 
carrying capacity in the most recent chaining proj- 
ect is 8.2 acres/AUM, compared to 11.1 acres/ 
AUM in the untreated area. 

Livestock water developments in the unit are 
earthen tanks, deep wells with windmills, or arte- 
sian wells. The earthen tanks are not a dependable 
source of water, as most of them dry up between 
April and August. In addition, most of the earthern 
tanks in the planning unit are inadequate for water- 
ing livestock because of silted-in tanks, broken 
dams, and insufficient drainage. Wells drilled 
throughout the area normally provide dependable 
livestock water. Pipeline systems from existing 
wells also have been developed to allow a more 
extensive distribution of livestock. Many allotments 



11-85 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



in the unit still have areas with inadequate watering 
places that affect both livestock management and 
wildlife distribution patterns. 

Cropland 

Cropland development in the region is limited 
because of a general lack of sufficient rainfall and a 
growing season averaging less than 120 days. Less 
than five percent of the land is presently produc- 
tive farmland and much of this farmland is irrigat- 
ed. With the exception of numerous small dry-land 
farms located near homes throughout the area (pre- 
dominantly Navajo), most of the land presently 
being farmed is located in the valleys of the San 
Juan, Animas and La Plata Rivers where irrigation 
water can easily be diverted. Two major irrigation 
projects, the Animas-La Plata Project and the 
Navajo Indian Irrigation Project are being planned 
or developed. 

The dryland farms consist of fenced, one-to-ten 
acre plots, usually near a drainage, producing sub- 
sistence-type garden crops such as corn and squash. 
Approximately 50,000 acres along the major peren- 
nial streams are presently being farmed. These irri- 
gated river valleys primarily produce livestock 
feed. Irrigated crops include alfalfa, corn silage, 
oats, barley, corn, orchard fruit, dry beans, and 
potatoes. Large acreages of irrigated and dryland 
are being utilized as permanent livestock pastures. 
Some of the irrigated farm land in the river valleys 
near Farmington, Bloomfield, and Aztec have been 
converted to residential use. It is anticipated that 
residential encroachment on these lands will con- 
tinue. The Animas-La Plata Project is part of the 
Colorado River Basin Project Act. It is planned to 
divert 1 18,000 acre-feet of water annually from two 
reservoirs in the Colorado River System to irrigate 
72,100 acres of land in Colorado and New Mexico, 
including 9,500 acres scattered along the Animas 
and La Plata river systems in northwestern New 
Mexico. The Bureau of Reclamation is scheduled 
to issue contracts for project construction during 
Fiscal Year 1980. 

The Navajo Reservoir on the San Juan River, a 
component of the Upper Colorado River Storage 
Project, provides water storage for irrigating 
110,630 acres of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Proj- 
ect. An estimated annual diversion requirement of 
330,000 acre-feet of water will be transported from 
Navajo Reservoir through tunnels, siphons, open 
concrete-lined canals, and pipelines to lands both 
on and off the Navajo Reservation. The area to be 
irrigated has been arranged in eleven blocks of 
approximately 10,000 acres each. Cultivation of the 
first block of slightly less than 10,000 acres began 
in 1976. Irrigation of block 2 began in 1977, and an 
additional block is to be added in each of the 
following nine years. Every block will be divided 



into fields with access roads and individual sprin- 
kler systems. 

The project will be operated as a tribal enter- 
prise by the Navajo Agricultural Projects Industry, 
which also will process and market most of the 
crops through agribusinesses located on adjacent 
non-irrigable lands. Crops to be planted include 
alfalfa, oats, barley, sugar beets, corn, dry beans, 
corn silage, soy beans, potatoes, carrots, onions, 
bell peppers, asparagus, cabbage, snap beans, and 
cucumbers. Agribusinesses include a vegetable can- 
nery; a packing plant for fresh vegetables, fertilizer 
plants; a livestock complex that includes beef, 
sheep, swine, and dairy feedlots, poultry facilities, 
and a beef feedlot; dairy, poultry, and meat pack- 
ing plant; a greenhouse; feed and seed processing 
facilities; a beverage plant; wool scouring ware- 
houses; leather tanning and craft facilities; and a 
vocational training center. In addition, hay storage 
areas, a demonstration grazing range, and soil con- 
servation or erosion control areas are planned. 

Wilderness 

There are no designated wilderness areas within 
the ES Region. Under the authority of the Wilder- 
ness Act of 1964, BLM was not authorized to 
designate wilderness areas from among lands it ad- 
ministered. It was not until the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) 
that the Secretary of the Interior was directed to 
complete a study of BLM lands for the purpose of 
assessing their wilderness potential. 

The wilderness review process for the Bureau 
has three phases: inventory, study, and reporting. 
BLM has been inventorying the public lands within 
the ES Region under the direction of Section 603 
of FLPMA and has identified 24 inventory units 
totaling 231,530 acres. These inventory units are 
listed on Table 11-17 and are shown on Map G. 
With the exception of 3 of these units, these are 
roadless areas bound either by a road or non-public 
land. As shown in the table, 3 units are to be 
deleted from further wilderness consideration due 
to the existence of roads. 

For the purposes of the BLM's wilderness inven- 
tory, the following definition has been adopted: 
"The word 'roadless' refers to the absence of 
roads which have been improved and main- 
tained by mechanical means to insure relative- 
ly regular and continuous use. A way main- 
tained solely by the passage of vehicles does 
not constitute a road." 
This language is quoted exactly from the legislative 
history of FLPMA, the House of Representatives 
Report 94-1163, page 17, Map 15, 1976, and is the 
BLM's only working definition. 



11-86 



Table 11-17 

WILDERNESS INVENTORY UNITS IN THE REGION 



1. Inventory unit deleted from further wilderness consideration due to 
existence of roads 



Unj -t Estimated Acreag e 
NM-010-1 14,080 

NM-010-7 12,160 

NM-010-8 8,640 



2. Inventory units addressed in the Star Lake-Bisti accelerated 
wilderness 



A. Areas recommended to be retained for state-wide intensive inventory 

Unit Estimated Acreage 
NM-010-4 16, 640 

NM-010-9 6,740 

NM-010-57 ' 3,520 



B. Areas recommended as not qualifying for further inventory and 

recommended to be dropped from the wilderness review process 

Unit Estimated Acreage 

NM-010-5 19,200 

NM-010-6 10,560 

NM-010-9 300 

NM-010-57 5,440 

NM-010-58 8,320 

3. Inventory units to be addressed in the state-wide initial inventory, 
March 12, 1979 



Unit Estimated Acreage 

NM-010-11 B7950 

NM-010-12 7,680 

NM-010-13 7,680 

NM-010-15 6,400 

NM-010-16 8,000 

NM-010-17 6,400 

NM-010-18 8,320 

NM-010-20 20,340 

NM-010-21 7,040 

NM-010-22 8,320 

NM-OIO-23 12,160 

NM-010-24 8,320 

NM-010-28 8,960 

NM-OIO-63 7,35" 



11-87 



Regional Analysis 

The BLM has adopted and will use the follow- 
ing sub-definitions of certain words and phrases in 
the road definition stated above: 

Improved and maintained Actions taken 
physically by man to keep the road open to 
vehicular traffic. Improved does not necessarily 
mean formal construction. Maintained does not 
necessarily mean annual maintenance. 

Mechanical means-Use of hand or power ma- 
chinery or tools. 

Relatively regular and continuous use- Vehicu- 
lar use which has occurred and will continue 
to occur on a relatively regular basis. Exam- 
ples are: access roads for equipment to main- 
tain a stock water tank or other established 
water sources; access roads to maintained rec- 
reation sites or facilities; or access roads to 
mining claims. 
The initial inventory of all public lands to deter- 
mine which areas possess wilderness characteristics 
for possible inclusion into the National Wilderness 
System is now being carried out. This inventory is 
being conducted using procedures outlined in the 
Wilderness Inventory Handbook published Septem- 
ber 27, 1978. The inventory should be completed 
by March, 1979, followed by a 90-day public com- 
ment and review period. 

As part of this inventory process, the Star Lake- 
Bisti accelerated wilderness inventory recommen- 
dations have been announced to the public. Inven- 
tory units recommended for intensive wilderness 
inventory are that portion of NM-010-57 common- 
ly referred to as the Bisti Bandlands, NM-010-4, 
and NM-010-9 (with the exception of the south- 
western corner). Inventory units recommended as 
not qualifying for further inventory and which 
should, therefore, be dropped from the wilderness 
review process, are NM-010-5, NM-010-6, NM-010- 
58, the southwestern corner of NM-010-9, and NM- 
010-57, excluding approximately 3,500 acres com- 
monly referred to as the Bisti Badlands, and all 
public lands affected by both the proposed Star 
Lake Railroad and the Fruitland Coal Load Trans- 
mission line not contained within the boundaries of 
identified inventory units. The remaining units not 
impacted by the proposed action will be addressed 
in the State-wide initial inventory, which will be 
released on March 12, 1979. The intensive wilder- 
ness inventory is for the purpose of determining 
which remaining areas will be designated wilder- 
ness study areas and which will be deleted from 
further wilderness consideration. The study phase 
involves the process of determining, through care- 
ful analysis, which wilderness study areas will be 
recommended as suitable for wilderness designation 
and which will be recommended as non-suitable. 
These determinations, made through the BLM's 
land use planning system, will take into considera- 



Environment 

tion all values, resources, and uses of the public 
lands. 

The reporting phase of the wilderness review 
process consists of forwarding or reporting these 
suitability and non-suitability recommendations 
through the Secretary of the Interior and the Presi- 
dent to Congress. These recommendations must be 
reported to the President no later than October 21, 
1991. The President must then report his final rec- 
ommendations to Congress within two years and 
Congress will decide which, if any, areas are desig- 
nated as wilderness. 

During the period of review of these areas, and 
until Congress has determined otherwise, the Sec- 
retary shall continue to manage such lands accord- 
ing to his authority under the FLPMA and other 
applicable laws. This shall be done in a manner so 
as not to impair the suitability of these areas for 
preservation as wilderness, subject, however, to the 
continuation of existing grazing, mining uses, and 
mineral leasing in a manner and degree in which 
the same were being conducted on the date of 
approval of the FLPMA. Restrictions imposed by 
Section 603 of FLPMA will no longer apply to 
those lands which obviously should not undergo 
intensive inventory, do not meet the criteria for 
wilderness study area identification or are declared 
by Congress not to be wilderness areas. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

The San Juan Basin is one of the most important 
archaeological regions in North America. Research 
in the Basin dates back to the late 19th century, 
when excavations began on the impressive building 
complexes in what is now Chaco Canyon National 
Monument. Modern research in the region holds as 
much promise to the social sciences as in the 
1800's; perhaps all the more so with the impressive 
base of previous work upon which to build. The 
region is an important component of the cultural 
history and heritage of the Southwest. Over 
156,000 visitors annually view the ruins and inter- 
pretative displays at Salmon Ruins near Farming- 
ton, and at Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruins Na- 
tional Monuments. These displays give visitors an 
opportunity to learn of the varied cultural tradi- 
tions that have flourished in the region: sequences 
of various Indian occupations, incursions of Span- 
ish explorers, Indian trade and war with Spanish 
and American immigrants, the development and 
decline of an extensive Navajo trading post system, 
labor disputes of the depression era, and the energy 
development boom. The San Juan Basin, then, con- 
tains an impressive body of archaeologically pre- 
served data relevant to man's changing patterns of 
use and abuse of the environment that sustains him. 
These features, collectively referred to as cultural 
resources, provide a wealth of non-renewable in- 



11-88 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



formation about the past that can help to better 
understand the present and, perhaps, provide in- 
sights into the future. 

Archaeology in the San Juan Basin 

Archaeology is the branch of anthropology that 
deals with the material remains of human existence. 
In the past, American archaeological studies were 
largely confined to projects for which historic rec- 
ords were not available. More recently, archae- 
ological work has involved materials of widely 
varying antiquity, including historic and modern 
remains. The term, cultural resource is used in this 
ES to refer jointly to pre-historic and historic ar- 
chaeological materials. 

Archaeologists have long been concerned with 
unearthing and describing remnants of our human 
past-monuments, irrigation works, cities, isolated 
tools, campsites, trash dumps and the like. Archae- 
ologists have attempted to infer the nature of the 
activities associated with these remains. Recently, 
interest has moved beyond descriptions of the past 
toward scientifically oriented attempts to explain 
why human events occurred as they did~to under- 
stand the causes of cultural diversity and the causes 
of social change through time. This type of study 
offers potential insight as to why societies differ 
throughout the world, how and why they develop, 
and why they fall. Among the sciences, archaeo- 
logy is uniquely suited to study these cultural 
events. It is the only means we have to observe the 
remains of human activity over broad stretches of 
time. By relating the changes observed in the ar- 
chaeological record to general predictive (or retro- 
dictive) models of cultural change, archaeologists 
explain why the changes occur. If such processes 
exhibit patterns that are general to human experi- 
ence, regardless of time or place, we begin to gain 
an understanding of current problems and, possibly, 
to predict the course of future social events. 

The ES Region is particularly well suited to 
scientific research. The San Juan Basin forms a 
relatively distinct geological-ecological region 
bounded on all sides by uplands. Humans have 
utilized this region for a wide variety of hunting, 
agricultural, pastoral and, recently, industrial 
economies. For agricultural systems alone, there 
are archaeological sites dating from its beginnings 
in the area through its elaboration and collapse. 
Unusually good ecological boundaries and a rela- 
tively complete archaeological record combine to 
make the region one of the best archaeological 
laboratories in North America. 

The Region's Cultural Resources 

Archaeological interest began in the study area 
as early as 1849 and continues through the present. 
Useful summaries of the work through 1960 can be 



found in Brand (et al., 1937), and Vivian and Math- 
ews (1964). Most of the recent work has been done 
through the Chaco Center, a research project oper- 
ating under the aegis of the National Park Service; 
and by Federal, State and private contracts re- 
quired for mineral and agricultural development. 
Present and proposed development has spurred a 
great deal of archaeological (primarily inventory) 
work in the basin. Results of this recent work are 
widely scattered, in part because the agencies in- 
volved have failed to coordinate activities into a 
unified research approach. 

Two BLM cultural resource contracts were 
awarded to assist in preparation of this ES: a litera- 
ture review to synthesize the current status of his- 
toric and archaeological research in the Basin 
(Magers, et al., 1978), and a field inventory de- 
signed to sample and describe the nature of cultural 
resources found in the immediate vicinity of the 
coal-bearing Fruitland Formation (Huse, et al., 
1978). Results are being published in the Cultural 
Resource Series of the BLM, Albuquerque District 
Office. The literature review has not been received 
and so was not used in preparation of this ES. The 
field inventory, published in the Cultural Resource 
Series of the BLM, Albuquerque District Office, 
covered 37,610 acres, a six percent sample of the 
project area (Maps 11-15 and II- 16). The random 
sample, stratified by soil association, held 421 sites 
(62 percent Navajo, 15 percent Archaic, 12 percent 
undiagnostic lithic, 7 percent Anasazi, and 4 per- 
cent Apache, Anglo, Paleolndian, and unknown). 
Overall site density was 7.17 sites per square mile. 

For ease of presentation, human use of the 
region is described in five temporal/cultural divi- 
sions. Each reflects an identifiable mode of re- 
source-use in the San Juan Basin within a definable 
time span. 

Paleo-Indian: Circa BC 10,000 - BC 5,000 

The earliest known use of the region involved 
the hunting of late Pleistocene fauna. Small, mobile 
groups hunted now-extinct forms of bison, and 
other types of game, and gathered wild edible 
plants. This mode of life is now recognized primar- 
ily by distinctive projectile points and tools. 
Folsom and Piano materials are the most common 
in the region. Three Paleo-Indian localities were 
found by the Bisti-Star Lake contract inventory. 
The results of this inventory and two other exten- 
sive surveys in the vicinity of the Fruitland Forma- 
tion (Reher, 1977, and Wait, 1976) give a density of 
0.077 Paleo-Indian sites per square mile (Huse, et 
al., 1978, p. 36). The density is low, but indicates 
the presence of Paleo-Indian materials in the poten- 
tial coal-development area. Due to the age and 
paucity of Paleo-Indian cultural remains, these sites 



11-89 



NAVAJO 
RESER 



GOBERNAJDOR 
\ CANYON 




K \° L 

VOIR ' 1 

1 L. 



)^ r- 




k E S E R V A T I O N' 

I V...-/ I 



RESERVATION 



CHACO CANYON 
NATIONAL MONUMENT 



AREA STUDIED 



10 2 3 Ml. 

I I 1 1 

SCALE 



f 



M 



AP 11-15. AREA OF THE CULTURAL RESOURCES INVENTORY SAMPLE, 



11-90 



mp 




MAP 11-16. CULTURAL RESOURCES INVENTORY AREA SHOWING PARCELS SURVEYED, 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



are difficult to locate and easily destroyed. None- 
theless, their importance to archaeology is high. 

Archaic: Circa BC 5000 - BC 1000 

With the extinction of the Pleistocene mega- 
fauna, subsistence practices shifted toward scaveng- 
ing of available smaller game and wild plants. Pop- 
ulations remained highly mobile, moving as food 
needs required. This mobile pattern was reflected 
in habitation sites built for short-term or seasonal 
use. As a result, archaeological materials for the 
Archaic period are relatively sparse. Often, all that 
remains are lithic scatters, a few hearths, or seed- 
grinding stones. As with Paleo-Indian sites, projec- 
tile points and tools are the only available surface 
material identifying Archaic occupation (see Figure 
11-30). Nonetheless, Archaic sites are common in 
the region. In the Bisti-Star Lake survey, Archaic 
sites accounted for 1 5 percent of the total identified 
cultural components a density of 1.41 sites per 
square mile (Huse, et al., 1978, p. 41, 129). Since 
this figure reflects only sites for which diagnostic 
materials were available, the actual total is likely to 
be higher. Archaic sites were found along dune 
ridges above washes and along mesas (Huse, et al., 
1978, p. 131). Additional technical work is needed 
to differentiate Archaic from more recent lithic 
sites and to better define phase sequences for the 
region. Research has only begun on site distribu- 
tion, relationships of sites to environmental fea- 
tures, and causes of the increased sedentary agri- 
culture that defined the close of the Archaic 
period. 

Anasazi: Circa BC 1000 - AD 1300 

Between two and three thousand years ago, the 
mobile hunting and gathering subsistence pattern 
became more sedentary. Possibly as a response to a 
decline in the abundance of wild food or an in- 
crease in the human population, domestic plants 
such as squash, corn, beans, amaranth, and chili 
became increasingly important food sources. A 
shift toward more permanent structures and village 
organization occurred as a part of this changing 
subsistence pattern. 

Initially, domesticated plants supplemented wild 
food resources. Populations lost some, but not all, 
of their previous mobility. During this period, 
known as Basketmaker II, populations apparently 
shifted from agricultural to hunting areas on a sea- 
sonal basis. Habitation sites were relatively insub- 
stantial, and archaeological remains are scant. 
Often, shallow depressions, tools, and grinding 
stones are all that remain on the surface. Neverthe- 
less, subsurface remnants may be more extensive 
and careful excavational procedures are required 
(see Figure 11-31). 



As the importance of domesticated plants in- 
creased, populations became more completely sed- 
entary. By about AD 500, people were living in 
permanent habitations and villages. This period, 
known as Basketmaker III, is characterized by 
semi-subterranean pit houses and undecorated gray 
ceramics. Locations were chosen that facilitated 
floodwater farming without sacrificing access to 
game and wild food (Judge 1974, p. IV-6). Basket- 
maker sites have an average density of .03 per 
square mile (Huse et al., 1978, p. 72). 

The transition from semi-subterranean to multi- 
roomed surface structures marks the beginning of 
the Pueblo period. Populations continued to in- 
crease and disperse throughout the region, leaving 
a density of .62 sites per square mile (Huse et al., 
1978, p. 71, 79). In some areas, large multi-storied 
pueblos developed, reaching a peak of elaboration 
at about AD 1000 to 1100. The largest and most 
spectacular pueblo complex developed in Chaco 
Canyon, but other pueblos are scattered through- 
out the region (Figure 11-32 shows pueblo sites in 
Chaco Canyon). Locations appear to have been 
determined primarily by the availability of water 
for floodwater farming and controlled irrigation, as 
most sites are located along washes. The field in- 
ventory area is dryer and less hospitable than lands 
along the Chaco River and so contains fewer sites. 
Most of these are north of Chaco Canyon (Huse et 
al., 1978, p. 78, 131). Recent evidence indicates that 
late in the Anasazi period, major pueblos were 
linked by a complex road network centering on 
Chaco Canyon. It is possible that the entire San 
Juan Basin was organized into a regionwide eco- 
nomic and political system. If so, it would mark a 
degree of social complexity previously considered 
improbable for Anasazi societies. Research oriented 
toward identifying the regional system and the 
causes of its development and subsequent collapse 
is only beginning. This research offers significant 
potential for developing an understanding of the 
process of change in human systems. Since such 
research would be seriously affected by large-scale 
energy development in the region, it should be 
considered a major aspect of the research environ- 
ment of the study area. 

Cultural Hiatus: Circa AD 1300 - 1500 

During the 1300's, the San Juan Basin was aban- 
doned. Populations probably moved to the Zuni 
and Hopi areas south and west of the Basin, and to 
the Rio Grande. Sporadic attempts to reinhabit 
part of the region by people moving out of the 
Mesa Verde area of southern Colorado were gener- 
ally short-lived. Causes of the abandonment are 
uncertain. There is no clear evidence of warfare or 
major drought to account for the collapse. A de- 
cline in useable rainfall, brought about by a change 



11-92 




Figure 11-30. --Archaic lithic scatter located in a dune 
ridge blowout. White flags mark the location of 
cultural materials. 




Figure 11-31 . --Excavated Basketmaker site. (Photo courtesy 
of the Chaco Center. U.S. National Park Service.) 



11-93 





Figure 11-32. --Pueblo III Anasazi remains in Chaco Canyon 
National Monument. (Photos courtesy of the Chaco 
Center, U.S. National Park Service.) 

11-94 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 






from a summer to a winter-dominant pattern of 
rain, is often suggested as a possible cause (Schoen- 
wetter and Dittert, 1968). It is also plausible that 
complex systems, by virtue of their high popula- 
tions, reliance on continual availability of re- 
sources, heavy exploitation of the environment, and 
intricate redistributive and control mechanisms, are 
unstable and subject to collapse in response to rela- 
tively subtle causes. If this is the case, what now 
appears to have been the cultural peak in the 
region may have been the point at which the Ana- 
sazi system was most vulnerable to collapse. The 
system may have disintegrated more or less of its 
own weight, spurred by causes that are difficult to 
see in the archaeological record. Satisfactory an- 
swers await further research. 

Navajo: Circa AD 1500 - Present 

The earliest Navajo materials are found in the 
northeastern corner of the basin. After acquiring 
sheep from the Spanish, the Navajos spread quick- 
ly throughout the region. By about 1800, herding 
and limited agriculture were the dominant econom- 
ic patterns throughout the region. Conflicts with 
Spanish, other Indians, and Americans frequently 
interrupted the pattern, though herding remained 
an important pursuit. Archaeological remains in- 
clude hogans occurring singly and in clusters, 
sweat lodges, seasonal camps, corrals, ovens, and 
trash dumps (Figures 11-33 A and B are cribbed-log 
and stone-ring hogans). Navajo material remains 
are abundant in the study area. The Bisti-Star Lake 
inventory reports that 62 percent of the identified 
cultural components are Navajo materials (Huse, et 
al., 1978, p. 129). Ninety percent of these date from 
the post-reservation period (1868), but the entire 
range of Navajo occupation is found within the 
region. Earliest Navajo sites are found on mesas 
with a later expansion into the sage plain. Between 
1868 and World War II, Navajos settled near 
major drainages, but after the war, sites center 
around Anglo-sponsored waterworks (Huse, et al., 
1978, p. 81, 114). 

Euro-American: Circa AD 1550 - Present 

In the introduction -to the Bisti-Star Lake cultur- 
al resource summary, Huse et al. (1978, p. 71) note 
that: "Spanish explorers and missionaries were the 
first Europeans to venture into the northern South- 
west in the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, but it 
was not until the early 1800's that non-Indians ar- 
rived with any frequency. Anglo trappers, miners 
and traveling merchants began arriving regularly 
during the early to mid-1800's. The period 1846 to 
1863 saw numerous attempts by the United States 
military to restrict Indian activities, leading to the 
removal of the Navajo to Fort Sumner in 1863. 
During the 1860's, white settlers began homestead - 



ing in the San Juan Basin. When the Indians re- 
turned from confinement, traders greatly increased 
the Navajo-Anglo contact, especially from the 
1870's on. Non-Indian settlements grew in size." 

(Figure 11-34 shows a trading post operating 
during its prime. Figure 11-35 shows the remains of 
the Cross-Springs stagecoach station.) 

Non-Indian border towns are located on the 
fringes of the ES Region, and signs of their eco- 
nomic base, primarily involved with energy devel- 
opment, are profuse. Increasing energy develop- 
ment will continue to alter the relationship between 
the Euro-American and Navajo populations, de- 
stroy previous cultural resources, and, in turn, 
create new material evidence of man's use and ex- 
haustion of his environment. 

National and State Registers of Historic 
Places 

National and State Register sites are abundant in 
the San Juan Basin. Appendix Tables B-27 and 28 
were compiled as part of the BLM Class I cultural 
resource synthesis (Magers, et al., 1978). Nomina- 
tions to the National Register are increasing rapid- 
ly. The number of sites in the lists substantially 
underrepresents the total number of sites potential- 
ly eligible for inclusion. 

SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS 

The following discussion is abstracted from a 
report prepared by Harbridge House, Inc. (1978) 
under contract to the BLM. Complete copies of 
this report are available for review at the BLM 
offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. 

The proposed coal and coal-related develop- 
ments would occur in an existing environment of 
economic growth and social change. Most of 
northwestern New Mexico still consists of more or 
less self-contained economic and social communi- 
ties, largely independent of the rest of the State 
(Eastman and Romanek, 1975). The four major 
sources of employment are government, services, 
trade, and mining. Lifestyles range from the pasto- 
ral, subsistence grazing of many of the rural 
Navajo to the urbanized style common to commu- 
nities such as Farmington, Gallup, and Grants. 
Three cultures exist in the region: Indian (primarily 
Navajo, but includes Zunis, Lagunas, Acomas, 
Zias, Jemez, and Jicarilla Apaches), Hispano (Span- 
ish-American), and Anglo (non-Spanish whites). 
Each has been relatively successful in preserving 
its distinctive values, beliefs and lifestyles, at least 
until recently, aided by barriers of language, dis- 
tance and special jurisdictions such as Indian reser- 
vations and land grants. 

However, the traditional balance between the re- 
gion's three cultures and its geographic isolation 
from outside influences is threatened by large-scale 



11-95 




Figure II-33A. --Navajo cribbed-log hogan remains, 
blocked door in the foreground. 




Figure II-33B. --Navajo stone-ring hogan remains, 

11-96 




Figure 11-34. --Sam Day's Chinle Trading Post, Ben Wittick 
photo, circa 1890. (Courtesy of the Maxwell Museum of 
Anthropology. ) 













'JSfr- - -■ ^ 



ft,"-- * li *'* 



.':' 



'«. 'tO&'1?&*~' .! 






• '%&,._.' 



"~ sfey 



j^r >-■ 



Figure 11-35. --Remains of the Cross Springs stage station. 

11-97 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



development of mineral resources now occurring in 
the area. The opening of coal and uranium mines 
on private, State and Indian lands, as well as the 
construction of power plants, railroads and related 
facilities, are stimulating rapid economic growth. 
The creation of new jobs results in the in-migration 
of new residents, chiefly Anglos, in response to 
actual or apparent employment opportunities. In 
the process, populations of formerly small towns 
rise, sizes of local payrolls grow, and demands on 
community facilities and services increase. At the 
same time, the values, beliefs and lifestyles of 
native Anglos, Hispanos and Indians are challenged 
by those of in-migrants and by the problems of the 
growth with which in-migration is associated. 

In this analysis, the socioeconomic study region 
has been defined by proximity to the proposed 
developments. A commuter driving time of 1.5 
hours, figured as a highway driving distance of 75 
miles, has been used to delimit the boundaries (Map 
11-17). Communities within this distance of 75 miles 
would be most likely to experience significant im- 
pacts from projects, based on reported commuting 
patterns of area residents (Carruthers, et al., 1973; 
U.S. Senate, 1977). A detailed explanation of this 
definition of the study region is given in Appendix 
B. 

Because most economic and some demographic 
data are only available at the county level, refer- 
ence is frequently made to a five-county area com- 
prising McKinley, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan, 
and Valencia Counties. However, whenever more 
specific information has been obtained, as is 
common in the analysis of community infrastruc- 
ture and cultural values, beliefs and lifestyles, refer- 
ence is to the socioeconomic study region as de- 
fined above. 

Demographic Features 

The estimated 1977 population of McKinley, Rio 
Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan, and Valencia Counties 
was 229,100, nearly a three-percent gain over the 
1976 population of 223,200 (U.S. Department of 
Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1977). In 1977, 
162,350 persons lived inside the ES Region. Thus 
the area within a 75-mile highway driving distance 
had a 1977 population approximately three-fourths 
that of the five counties as a whole. Table 11-18 
gives the number of inhabitants of the five-county 
area for the period 1950-1977. Table 11-19 estimates 
the number of residents of the region within 75 
miles of the sites for the same years. 

The populations of four of the five counties 
shown in Table 11-18 have grown significantly 
since 1950. By far the greatest growth was in San 
Juan County, the most populous county in north- 
western New Mexico in 1977. The total number of 
inhabitants in San Juan County grew by more than 



270 percent in the 27 years after 1950, compared to 
increases of 90 to 120 percent in the other counties. 
However, throughout the region, population 
growth rates have varied widely from year to year. 
In the 1950's, most areas experienced pronounced 
growth and the number of residents of San Juan 
County tripled. The 1960's saw comparatively 
small gains in regional population and San Juan 
County actually lost inhabitants. The 1970's have 
brought a return to large-scale population in- 
creases, particularly in McKinley and San Juan 
Counties. This alternation of growth and stagna- 
tion, the so-called boom-bust cycle, reflects the al- 
ternate expansion and contraction of the regional 
economy, principally as a result of changing 
demand and supply functions for northwestern 
New Mexico's mineral resources. 

The five-county area and the study region are 
still sparsely populated, and population densities 
are low. The average for the five counties is ap- 
proximately 8.8 persons per square mile (Table II- 
18). The population of northwestern New Mexico 
is predominantly rural. In 1977, an estimated 59.6 
percent of the inhabitants of the ES Region lived 
in rural areas. Many Indians, particularly Navajo, 
persist in the traditional pastoral lifestyles (Table 
11-18). Traditional Indians speak little or no Eng- 
lish, often live in hogans, pursue an agricultural 
way of life, and maintain the personal, spiritual, 
and physical values and beliefs of their ancestors. 
As may be seen, the county with the largest 
number of inhabitants ~ San Juan - is also the 
most urban. 

There are few cities and villages in the study 
region (Table 11-20). Gallup, in McKinley County, 
was historically the largest of these, growing up 
around a station on the transcontinental Atlantic & 
Pacific Railroad. The city prospered from coal 
mining, rail shipping, and as a marketing town for 
Navajo and Zuni Indians. Gallup is an important 
administrative and commercial center for McKin- 
ley County and nearby portions of Arizona (East- 
man and Romanek, 1975). Since 1960, Gallup has 
been replaced by Farmington as the largest city in 
northwestern New Mexico. 

San Juan County possesses three major commu- 
nities: Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington. They 
form an urbanizing triangle near the confluence of 
the Animas and San Juan Rivers. Farmington's 
population increased in the 1950's from 3,637 to 
23,786. After oil and gas production peaked in the 
1960's, growth slowed and there was a net migra- 
tion from the area. However, the more recent de- 
velopment of the Four Corners and San Juan Gen- 
erating Stations, and of nearby coal mines, has 
prompted new population increases (San Juan 
County Planning Department, 1977). 



J 



■ 



11-98 



■M^MMBM^wHMiHMiiHUMiiiiniMMmraw^wTwiMiminr'— ■—" 



RESERVATION 




SOURCE: HARBRIDGE HOUSE. INC.. 1978. 



75-MILE DRIVING DISTANCE 



17. 75-MILE DRIVING DISTANCE FROM PROPOSED 
DEVELOPMENT. 



II-S9 



Table II- 18 
DATA ON THE POPULATION OF THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA 



Item 



McKinley 
County 



Rio Arriba 
County 



Sandoval 
County 



3an Juan 

County 



Valencia 
County 



Five 
Counties 



Area, in square miles- 
Population in 19502/ 
Annual growth rate, 1950- I960 
Population in 1960I/ 
Annual growth rate, 1960-1970 
Population in 1970£/ 
Annual growth rate, 1970-1977 
Population in 19773/ 

Population density in 1977 

(persons per square mile) 

Urban population in ¥2112/ 

Percent of county total 

Rural population in 19773; 

Percent of county total 

r Percent speaking English, 1970- 
g Percent speaking Spanish, 1970 

Percent speaking Indian, 1970— 

Other5/ 



V 



Percent born in New Mexico, 1970a/ 
Percent born in another State, 1970.3 
Percent foreign born, 1970-** 
Not reported^/ 

Unemployment in 1977, Total5/ 
Hispanic workers3/ 
Indian workers?/ 

Per capita income, VfJ(Hiu 
Per capita income, 1977--3/ 
Annual Percent change 



5,151 
27,151 

3.09 
37,209 

1.51 
43,208 

1.30 
58,000 



10.6 
26,100 

15.0 
31,900 

55.0 

26.0 

6^.8 



71.6 

23.1 

.1 

1.9 

6.7 

5.6 
10.5 

$2,369 

$1,362 

9.1 



5,813 
21,997 

(0.33) 
21,193 
0.10 

25,170 

1.59 
28,100 



1.8 

5,600 

19-9 

22,500 

80.1 

13.1 

70.8 

15.5 

■ 3 

81.9 

10.1 

.8 

7.2 

20.0 
27.0 
33-1 

$2,172 

$3,7^3 

8.1 



3,711 


5,500 


12,138 


18,292 


1.33 


11.29 


11,201 


53,306 


2.11 


(0.15) 


17,192 


52,517 


1.87 


3-91 


21,100 


68,700 


6.6 


12.5 





11,900 


0.0 


61.0 


21,100 


26,800 


100.0 


39-0 


23-1 


56.1 


31.1 


6.9 


1 1 . ! 


36-1 


.8 


. ) 


77-9 


53.2 


17-5 


11. 


.5 


.5 


1.1 


5-3 


8.1.8/ 


7.5 


9- 61./ 


10.5 


12.18/ 


11. 7 


$1,570 


$2,510 


$3,181 


$5,180 


12.0 


10.7 



5,656 


26,167 


22,481 


105,659 


5-69 


4.75 


39,085 


167,991 


0.37 


0.63 


10,539 


178,926 


3.01 


3-59 


19,900 


229,100 


8.8 


8.8 


18,900 


92,500 


37.9 


10.1 


31,000 


136,600 


62.1 


59.6 


h?. 6 


36.5 


41.8 


27.3 


14 6 


3d ,2 


1 . -J 


.0 


69.7 


6? . 8 


26.3 


26.7 


.5 


.5 


3.5 


5.0 


7-5 


12.7 


12.1 


11.0 


18.7 


13-5 


$2,027 


$2,238 


$4,620 


$4,494 


12.5 


in.5 



1/ University of New Mexico, 1977- 

2/ U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1950; I960; 1970. 

3/ Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 

4/ U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1972. 

5/ New Mexico Employment Security Commission, 1978. 

5/ University of New Mexico, 1975- 

7/ Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments , 1974 ■ 

"87 Data is reported for Albuquerque Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. 



m 



mam 



mmam 



: ' ■ .' --' 



BBBHHMBpHB 



Table TT- 19 
POPULATION OP THE ES REOION, 1950-1977 



County or Portion 

of County 



McKinley 

Rio Arriba-Westerr 

Sandoval-Westerry-/ 

_, San Juan 

o s/ 

•-* Valencia-Western- 2 

ES REGION 



3/ 



19501/ 

Percent of 
County 
Population Population 



I960 2/ 

"Percent of 
County 

Populat. ion Population 



1970 2/ 



ir'ODulatior 



Percent of 

County 
r opulation 



1977 V 
Populat l.i'. 



27,451 


100 . 


37,209 


100.0 


43,208 


100.0 


58,000 ' 


4,100 


16.5 


4,031 


16.7 


4,226 


16.8 


4,650 


2,900 


23.3 


3,255 


22.9 


2,847 


16.3 


3,600 


18,292 


100.0 


.53,306 


100.0 


52,517 


100.0 


68,700 


5,025 


22. 4 


22,939 


58.7 


20,088 


49.6 


27,400 


57,768 


43.8 


120,740 


71.9 


122,886 


68.7 


162,350 



1/ Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 

2/ U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1972b. 

3/ Comprises Coyote arid Jicarilla Census County Divisions. 

¥/ Comprises Cuba Census County Division. 

5/ Comprises Fence Lake, Grants and Laguna Census County Divisions. 



Table II- 20 
POPULATION OF MAJOR COMMUNITIES IN THE ES REGION, 1950-1977 



Community 



19 50^ 



19 60^ 



197oi / 



2/ 

1977- 



McKlnley County 
Crownpoint (U) 
Gallup (C) 
Prewitt (U) 
Thoreau (U) 
Zuni Pueblo (U) 

Sandoval County 
Cuba (V) 

San Juan County 
Aztec (C) 
Bloomfield (V) 
Farmlngton (C) 
Shiprock (U) 

Valencia County 
Grants (C) 
Milan (V) 



n.a. 

9,133 
n.a. 
n.a. 

2,563 



n.a. 



n.a. 

3,657 
n.a. 



2,251 
n.a. 



n.a. 

14,089 

n.a. 

n.a. 

3,585 



n.a. 



4,137 

1,292 

23,786 

n.a. 



10,274 
2,658 



n.a. 

14,596 

n.a. 

n.a. 

3,958 



415 



3,354 
1,574 

21,979 
n.a. 



8,768 
2,185 



3,500 

18,400 

400 

720 

4,200 



550 



4,650 

2,200 

29,750 

5,500 



9,900 
3,000 



Sources : 

1/ U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1953; 1962; 1972b. 
2/ Harb ridge House, Inc., 1978. 

Notes : 

n.a., not available; in most years, data is not available until after incorporation, 

(U) , unincorporated 

(C), incorporated as city 

(V), incorporated as village 



11-102 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



Economic development in the Aztec-Bloomfield- 
Farmington triangle has apparently prompted a 
recent migration of Navajo Indians from western 
to eastern districts of the Navajo Indian Reserva- 
tion and the off-reservation areas of the Eastern 
Navajo Agency, an administrative unit of the BIA. 
The unincorporated community of Shiprock, 30 
miles west of Farmington in the valley of the San 
Juan River, has become the largest town on the 
25,000 square mile Navajo Reservation (US Bureau 
of Indian Affairs, 1977b). By 1977, the population 
of Shiprock was approximately 5,500. 

The twin communities of Grants and Milan, in 
Valencia County, together constitute the third larg- 
est urban center in the study region after Farming- 
ton and Gallup. Both grew substantially in the 
1950's with development of extensive uranium de- 
posits around the slopes of Mount Taylor. The 
number of residents of the city of Grants rose by 
351 percent between 1950 and 1960, the same 
decade that the Village of Milan was first incorpo- 
rated. The 1960's were characterized by compara- 
tively slow growth, but between 1970 and 1977 
Grants/Milan increased by almost five percent an- 
nually. In addition, unincorporated areas adjacent 
to the two municipalities, such as San Mateo and 
San Rafael, were the sites of subdivision and settle- 
ment (Middle Rio Grande Council of Govern- 
ments, 1977). 

Mineral resource development in the study 
region has resulted in the emergence of several 
new population centers. During the 1970's the most 
important of these communities was Crownpoint, 
in McKinley County, with 3,500 residents and an 
additional 500 inhabitants when BIA boarding 
schools are in session. Crownpoint has grown re- 
cently as a result of uranium mine development in 
the vicinity. Similarly, Prewitt and Thoreau, two 
small communities located south of Crownpoint 
along Interstate Highway 40, are in areas of active 
uranium exploration and development. Prewitt was 
estimated to have 400 residents in 1977. Thoreau 
had 720 year-round inhabitants, and an additional 
120 residents during the term of BIA schools situ- 
ated in the community (McKinley Area Council of 
Governments, 1977; BIA written communication, 
1978). 

A fourth place that has grown in recent years 
due to mine investment is the Village of Cuba, in 
Sandoval County. The opening of the Nacimiento 
Copper Mine of Earth Resources Company in 1971 
stimulated the economy of the area significantly, 
and the population of Cuba increased by nearly 33 
percent in the early 1970's (Ives and Eastman, 
1975), Operations of the mine have been discontin- 
ued, with apparently little likelihood that they will 
be resumed soon (Earth Resources Company, 
1977). 



As Table 11-18 indicates, the only county in 
which Anglos appear to constitute a majority is 
San Juan; Hispanos dominate Rio Arriba County; 
and Indians, chiefly the Navajo, make up 62.8 per- 
cent of the population of McKinley County. San- 
doval County is similar to the regional pattern, 
although the western portions of the county com- 
prise a largely Hispanic ranching community 
dating from the nineteenth century (U.S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, 
1937). It is significant that the largest Anglo popu- 
lations are located in the two counties, San Juan 
and Valencia, which have experienced the most 
minerals development and the greatest in-migration 
from other regions. 

Economic Characteristics 

The four economic sectors which supplied the 
most jobs were government and public education, 
wholesale and retail trade, mining, and commercial 
and professional services, in that order. Reported 
employment for these and four other sectors are 
shown, by county, in Table 11-21. 

The most important sector in the economy is 
government, which accounts for 21.2 percent of all 
jobs and 24.3 percent of all income. The impor- 
tance of the government sector is due to the re- 
gional role of federal agencies, especially the BIA 
and the Indian Health Service (IHS), as well as 
specific installations like Fort Wingate, a Depart- 
ment of Defense ordinance depot in McKinley 
County. In communities such as Gallup, Federal 
payrolls are especially significant, with one in 
every ten workers employed by the BIA or the 
IHS in 1977 (McKinley Area Council of Govern- 
ments, 1977a). State, county, municipal and tribal 
governments and other Federal agencies also con- 
tribute to the employment and income reported for 
the government sector. 

The growth of tourism has added to the regional 
importance of the trade and services sectors. In 
1977, the four national monuments in northwestern 
New Mexico (Aztec Ruins, Chaco Canyon, El 
Morro, Bandelier) registered in excess of 410,000 
visitors (U.S. Department of the Interior, National 
Park Service, 1977); Acoma and Zuni Pueblos and 
the Navajo Indian Reservation are also major at- 
tractions. Tourist-related businesses in the region 
are numerous, including the manufacture and sale 
of jewelry, which provides as many as 500 seasonal 
jobs (McKinley Area Council of Governments, 
1977a). 

Mining has become the largest basic sector in the 
economy of northwestern New Mexico. In 1977, 
minerals extraction provided jobs for 13.6 percent 
of all those employed in northwestern New 
Mexico, and 16.8 percent of the region's gross per- 
sonal income. These totals represent increases of 



11-103 



Table II- 21 

EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME IN THE FIVE COUNTY AREA BY SHC1DB 
{Employment as of 1977; Income, in thousands of dollars, as of 1975 1 





McKinley County 

Percent of 




Rio Arriba County 

Percent of 




Sandoval 


County 
Percent of 




San Juan County 

Percent of 




'■ alencia 


County 
Percent of 


Five Count 


ies 

Percent of 


Sector- 


Employment 
Income 


County 
Total 


Employment 
Income 


County 
Total 


Employment 
Income 


County 
Total 


Employment 
Income 


County 
Total 


Employment 
Inccme 


County 
Total 


Employment 
Income 


County 
Total 


Agriculture 


156 
$ 1,857 


0.8 
1.1 


$ 


398 
1,326 


6.3 
2.7 


$ 


827 
1,610 


16.3 
5-1 


$ 


569 
2,950 


2.1 
1-3 


$ 


817 

5,658 


7.1 
6.4 


2,767 
$ 13,401 


4.0 

2.4 


Mining 


4,407 
$ 38,518 


22.9 
22.8 


$ 


42 
749 


■ 7 

1.5 




42 
D 


.8 


$ 


2,557 
37,738 


9-3 
16.8 


$ 


2,377 
18,199 


20.7 
20.6 


9,425 
$ 95,204 


13.6 
16.8 


Construction 


647 
$ 10,694 


3.4 
6.3 


$ 


193 
2,116 


3.1 

4.3 


$ 


422 
3,126 


8.3 
9-8 


$ 


4,704 
40,428 


17.2 
18.0 


$ 


640 
6,894 


5.6 
7.8 


6,606 

$ 63,258 


9-5 
11.2 


Manufacturing 


1,155 
$ 10,307 


6.0 
6.1 


$ 


420 
2,814 


6.7 
5-7 


$ 


1,022 
4,932 


20.1 
15.5 


$ 


1,114 
9,655 


4.1 

4.3 




274 

D 


2.4 


3,985 
$ 27,708 


5.7 
4.9 


Transportation, Comnuni- 
cations & Utilities 


1,015 
$ 13,076 


5.3 
7.7 


$ 


231 
2,545 


3.7 
5.1 


$ 


153 
1,435 


3-0 
4.5 


$ 


2,821 
35,410 


10.3 
15.8 


857 
$ 12,322 


7-5 
14.0 


5,077 
$ 64,788 


7-3 
11.5 


Trade 


3,750 
$ 31,538 


19.5 
18.6 


$ 


1,064 
6,316 


16.9 
12.6 


$ 


391 

2,846 


7.7 
8.9 


5,270 
$ 34,094 


19.2 
15.2 


$ 


2,283 
12,978 


19.9 
14.8 


12,758 
$ 87,772 


18.4 
15.6 


Finance, Insurance, and 
Real Estate 


337 
D 


1.8 
D 


$ 


207 
1,599 


3-3 
3.2 


$ 


249 
3,245 


4.9 

10.2 


$ 


713 
5,861 


2.6 
2.6 


$ 


428 

3,677 


3-7 
4.2 


1,934 
$ 14,382 


2.8 

2.6 


Services and 
Miscellaneous 


3,242 

$ 13,297 


16.8 
7.8 


1,331 
$ 11,969 


21.2 
24.1 


$ 


872 
5,167 


17.2 
16.2 


$ 


5,553 
20,217 


20.2 
9-0 


$ 


1,190 

9,513 


10.4 
10.8 


12,188 
$ 60,163 


17.5 
10.7 


Government 


4,527 

$ 50,164 


23.5 
29.6 


2,400 
$ 20,267 


38.1 
40.8 


$ 


1,104 
9,472 


21.7 
29.8 


$ 


4,110 
38,273 


15-0 
17.0 


2,525 

$ 18,396 


22.7 
21.4 


14,766 
$137,072 


21.2 
24.3 


Total 


19,236 
$169,451 


100.0 
100.0 


6,286 
$ 49,701 


100.0 
100 . 


5,082 
$ 31,833 


100.0 
100.0 


27,411 
$224,626 


100.0 
100.0 


$ 


11,191 
88,137 


100.0 
100.0 


69,506 
$563,748 


100.0 
100.0 



Source: Harbridgp F""£"i, Inc., 1978. 

Note: D - Disclosure regulations restrict release of data. 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



more than 1,300 percent since 1950. Much of the 
growth of the transportation, communication and 
utilities sector has stemmed from mining activity. 
Utilities are a particularly important feature of the 
economy of San Juan County, where the Four 
Corners and San Juan power plants are located. 

The unemployment rate among the Navajo of 
the Eastern Navajo Agency was approximately 40 
percent in 1977 (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1976). A 
survey of Navajo households in the area unofficial- 
ly has shown joblessness to reach as high as 56 
percent among male heads of household, and 
higher among young men and women (Wistisen, et 
al., 1975). These Navajo are often unable or unwill- 
ing to find employment in urban centers, or they 
live in isolated areas. 

Throughout northwestern New Mexico, new in- 
dustry has located close to the region's urban com- 
munities. Mining development represents an excep- 
tion, but most are located within commuting dis- 
tance of cities and are characterized by largely 
Anglo work forces. Only those facilities situated on 
Indian lands have provided non-Anglo residents of 
the ES Region with new employment. Efforts to 
create employment in rural and reservation areas 
have met with minimal success. Mining develop- 
ment plans have frequently proven controversial, 
as with the several proposals for the Burnham area 
and the Dalton Pass area of the Navajo Indian 
Reservation. Operations once begun have often 
proven failures, as with the Earth Resources Com- 
pany mine outside Cuba and the Fairchild Camera 
and Instrument Corporation plant near Shiprock. 

According to the 1970 Census, 26.9 percent of 
all families in the five-county area were reported to 
be living on incomes below the poverty level, 31.2 
percent of Spanish-surnamed families were living 
below the poverty level, and among some Indian 
tribes as much as 65 percent of all families were so 
reported (Bureau of the Census, 1973; Navajo 
Nation, 1974). Of reported median incomes, His- 
panic workers had 92.6 percent of the average in 
the five-county area, while Indians had as little as 
37.7 percent of the average median income in San 
Juan County, and 48.8 percent in McKinley 
County (Bureau of the Census, 1973; Wistisen, et 
al., 1975). 

As Table 11-19 shows, per capita incomes in 
northwestern New Mexico have been rising by as 
much as 12.5 percent a year. Although no estimates 
are made for ethnic groups in the region, surveys 
suggest that Hispano and Indian populations lag 
behind Anglos in incomes by as much as 85 per- 
cent (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 1977; Wistisen, 
et al., 1975). 



Community Infrastructure 

Components of community infrastructure ~ high- 
ways, housing, schools, etc. — are best developed in 
the region's cities, such as Farmington, Gallup, and 
Grants, to meet the demands of a largely Anglo 
population. Rural and reservation communities, 
such as Cuba, San Ysidro, Crownpoint, and Tho- 
reau, generally suffer from a lack of the same facili- 
ties and services. 

As the larger communities in the ES Region 
have grown, public and private utilities and serv- 
ices have expanded to meet increased demand. 
However, large investments in new facilities and 
programs have generally been inadequate. Deterio- 
ration of existing roads and other structures has 
resulted from overuse, while the quality of services 
afforded residents has been diminished by lack of 
trained personnel. Table 11-22 lists those communi- 
ty infrastructures that local residents felt were defi- 
cient. 

Governmental Authorities 

Seven levels of government operate in the study 
region, and the jurisdictions of Federal, State, re- 
gional, county, municipal, special district, and tribal 
agencies often overlap. In urban areas, the number 
of governments is usually larger than in rural areas; 
however, the checkerboard pattern of land owner- 
ship in the region results in a confusion of jurisdic- 
tions even in these rural areas. 

Responsibilities for maintenance of facilities and 
provision of services fall to counties, municipalities, 
special districts and tribes. Transportation networks 
are an exception: Federal and State agencies regu- 
late or maintain most aspects of transportation. 
Housing is primarily a concern of counties (and of 
regional councils of governments); on reservations, 
housing projects are undertaken by tribes and/or 
the BIA. Public schools are operated by special 
districts; Indian children may also attend the 
schools of the BIA, and there are a few independ- 
ent, private and religious institutions. Responsibility 
for health care is also shared; counties and munici- 
palities maintain public facilities, the IHS operates 
others, and there are some private and religious 
institutions. Police and fire protection, as well as 
sanitary systems are generally provided by coun- 
ties, tribes, or municipalities. 

In most areas, facilities and services are operated 
by joint arrangements. Relative costs or rate sched- 
ules are negotiated. On the Navajo Indian Reserva- 
tion, the tribe enters into many projects with the 
support of the BIA. 

The rising demand for services has led to in- 
creased government spending. In fiscal 1977, local 
government budgets were up by 51.1 percent over 
the year earlier, and were projected to exceed rev- 
enues by 12.8 percent, or $14.8 million (Table II- 



11-105 



Table 11-2 2 

COMPONENTS OF THE COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE PERCEIVED 
DEFICIENT BY RESIDENTS OF THE ES REGION, 1977 



Components of Community 

Infrastructure Per- 
ceived to be Deficient 



Anglo 



Percent of Respondents to Question!/ 

Hispanic Indian Total 





Transportation networks 


27-6 


9-1 




Housing 


24.1 


9.1 


M 
■ 


Educational systems 


6.9 


9.1 


o 


Law enforcement 


6.9 


9.1 




Water supplies 


10.3 


0.0 




Other public utilities 


17.2 


0.0 



0.0 


15-9 


4.2 


12.7 


0.0 


4.8 


8.3 


11.1 


20.8 


12.7 


0.0 


12.7 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc.,1978. 

1/ 64 of 110 key informants responded to questions regarding effects of recent 
development in the ES Region — 29 Anglo, 11 Hispanic, 24 Indian. 



I^^^^^^^M^^^^— IK '-' v.- 



Regional Analysis 

23). Deficits existed in three of five counties, four 
of seven municipalities, and all school districts 
(New Mexico Department of Finance and Admin- 
istration, 1977 a,b,c). 

Housing 

Half of all dwelling units in northwestern New 
Mexico are detached, owner-occupied, single 
family homes. Rented homes, apartments and other 
multiple family units represent an estimated 30 per- 
cent of the housing stock. Mobile homes now ac- 
count for 20 percent of available housing units. 
Table 11-24 gives the number of units by housing 
type for the five-county area and the degree to 
which housing was overcrowded or otherwise defi- 
cient. 

With continued population growth, a pressing 
need for more and better housing exists. New home 
construction has not kept pace with recent popula- 
tion increases, and a lack of housing is extreme in 
communities like Gallup. As a result, substandard 
or overcrowded living conditions among lower 
income families have persisted in most areas. 

The slow rate of new home construction is the 
outcome of several factors. Land for subdivision 
and development is scarce, making the little prop- 
erty available relatively expensive. Building costs 
also are high because of distances from Albuquer- 
que, the state's distribution center for construction 
materials and the home base of most building con- 
tractors (Middle Rio Grande Council of Govern- 
ments, 1976). The average price of a new home in 
Gallup during 1977 was an estimated $6,000 more 
than the price of a comparable home in Albuquer- 
que (McKinley Area Council of Governments, 
1977b). In Grants, the cost differential was report- 
ed to be $10,000 in 1976 (New Mexico State Plan- 
ning Office, 1976a). 

Also limiting the availability of housing is the 
lack of sufficient capital for the financing of both 
builders and buyers. There are 20 financial institu- 
tions in the study region, including six credit 
unions. Relative to the total population, the size of 
their combined assets and outstanding loans is 
small. In New Mexico as a whole, financial institu- 
tions loaned $1.00 per inhabitant in 1976; in the 
study region, the rate of lending was $0.30 per 
resident. The disparity reflects a wide difference in 
the relative size of assets: $4.44 per inhabitant of 
the State, but $1.89 per resident in the study region 
(New Mexico Department of Banking, 1977). The 
lack of capital is aggravated by special circum- 
stances in some areas. There are no savings and 
loan associations in Grants and Milan, and conser- 
vative banking practices restrict lending in Gallup 
(New Mexico Department of Banking, 1977). 

The limited supply of single family houses has 
resulted in the growing sales of mobile homes, due 



Environment 

chiefly to their relatively low cost (Figure II-37). 
For lower income residents or newly-arrived in- 
habitants, the choice in most communities often 
appears to be between buying a mobile home or 
not buying a home at all. In 1976, there were 1,542 
mobile homes in McKinley County, an increase of 
98.7 percent over 1970 (McKinley Area Council of 
Governments, 1977b). In Sandoval County, the 
1,281 mobile homes in 1976 represented a 527.9 
percent increase since 1970. Likewise, in Valencia 
County, a reported 3,040 mobile homes were occu- 
pied in 1976, a gain in six years of 161.2 percent 
(Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments, 
1976). Some recent studies suggest that mobile 
homes represented as much as 80 percent of all 
new home sales in 1977 (New Mexico State Plan- 
ning Office, 1976a). 

Educational Systems 

The study region has eight public school districts 
(Map 11-18). Attendance in the first half of the 
1977-1978 school year averaged 36,439 students. 
These school systems are associated with local 
branches of the University of New Mexico or New 
Mexico State University. Pupils in the BIA-operat- 
ed day and boarding schools located throughout 
the region (Figure 11-38) are usually Navajo; in 
1977-1978, these government schools had combined 
enrollments of nearly 7,000 students. Twenty-one 
private and parochial schools provided education 
to an additional 4,500 students, many of whom 
were Indians attending mission schools near the 
Navajo Reservation (New Mexico Department of 
Finance and Administration, 1978b; U S, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, 1978). 

Public schools in the study region have had rap- 
idly increasing enrollments since 1970. In-migration 
of new families with school-age children and the 
movement of Indian children into the public 
schools are the chief reasons. The primary respon- 
sibility for the education of Indians living on reser- 
vations rests with the BIA. With recent improve- 
ments in the economic status of many Indians, en- 
rollments at BIA schools have been dropping, 
while those at nearby public institutions have 
grown (U S, Bureau of Reclamation, 1976a). Dis- 
tricts in San Juan County have been most affected. 
The Central Consolidated School District, which 
has responsibility for public schools located on the 
Navajo Reservation and adjacent areas, recorded 
increases in enrollments of more than 35 percent 
between 1970 and 1977. 

All public school districts have had difficulties 
accommodating growth, as suggested in Table II- 
22. Table 11-23 shows that every district had a 
budget deficit in 1977-1978. In 1977, every district 
except Cuba and Jemez Mountain reported that 
enrollments were exceeding design capacity in one 



11-107 



Table II- 23 
GOVERNMENTAL REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES IN THE ES REGION, 1977 









Budgeted Surplus 


(Deficit) 




Budgeted 


Budgeted 




Percent of 


Government 


Revenues 


Expenditures 


Balance 


Revenues 


State of New Mexico V 


$667,299,000 


$611,214,000 


$ 56,085,000 


8.4 


McKinley County t/ 


1,922,829 


1,905,586 


17,243 


°- 9 =/ 


Rio Arriba County 


1,892,392 


2,063,555 


(171,163) 5/ 


(9-0) 5/ 


Sandoval County 


1,333,808 


1,666,867 


(333,059) 


(25.0) 


San Juan County 


4,667,355 


5,096,305 


(428,950) 


(9-2) 


Valencia County 


2,660,846 


2,565,043 


95,803 


3-6 


City of Aztec 2/ 


1,485,649 


1,674,910 


(189,261) 


(12.7) 


Village of Bloomfield 


2,632,198 !/ 


720,221 


1,911,977 


72.6 


Village of Cuba 


976,633 v 


273,453 


703,180 


72.0 


City of Parmington 


19,715,336 


21,287,083 


(1,571,747) 


(8.0) 


City of Gallup 


11,123,900 


12,229,086 


(1,105,186) 


(9.9) 


City of Grants 


3,628,512 


3,572,227 


56,285 


1.6 


Village of Milan 


634,325 


667,791 


(33,466) 


(5-3) 


Aztec Public School 










District 3/ 


3,564,852 


3,878,603 


(313,751) 


(8.8) 


Bloomfield Municipal 










School District 


4,661,074 


5,661,979 


(1,000,905) 


(21.5) 


Central Consolidated 










School District 


9,602,501 


15,054,627 


(5,452,126) 


(56.8) 


Cuba Independent 










School District 


2,023,814 


2,076,170 


(52,356) 


(2.6) 


Farmington Public 










School District 


10,772,264 


13,001,575 


(2,229,311) 


(20.7) 


Gallup-McKinley 










School District 


22,258,458 


26,013,182 


(3,754,724) 


(16.9) 


Grants Public 










School District 


8,373,014 


9,217,819 


(844,805) 


(10.1) 


Jemez Mountain 










School District 


1,488,455 


1,608,312 


(119,857) 


(8.1) ; 


All local governments 


$115,418,215 


$130,234,394 


($14,816,179) 


(12.8) 



1/ New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, 1978a. 

2/ New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, 1977a; 1977b, 

3/ New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, 1977c. 

4/ Extraordinary source of revenues budgeted. 

5/ Deficits indicated by parentheses . 



11-108 






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11-109 




Figure 11-36. --Traffic congestion is increasing in the larger 
communities of the ES Region, such as Gallup. 




Figure 11-37. --A small, unimproved mobile home park near 

Crownpoint. 



IM1Q 



COLORADO 




10 ' 20 JO 

J I Mi. 



4- 

D 
A 



LIMITS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITHIN COUNTIES 

GENERAL HOSPITALS 

INDIAN MEDICAL CENTER/HOSPITAL 

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE CLINIC 



O OT H E R C LI Nl C / H OS P IT A L 

SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO; BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 

MAP 11-18. SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND HEALTH FACILITIES 



11-111 







Figure 11-38. --Pueblo Pintado, a Bureau of Indian Affairs 
boarding school in Eastern Navajo Agency. 




Figure 11-39. --Temporary schoolrooms in Milan. Similar 
structures are found in such communities as Grants, 
Gallup, and Farmington. 



11-112 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



or more schools. The Gallup-McKinley School 
District was overcrowded to the point that 28.7 
percent of all classrooms in use were temporary 
facilities (Figure 11-39). The school districts also 
face the problem of obtaining qualified teaching 
personnel. Pupil-teacher ratios exceeded the ac- 
cepted standard and state average in the Bloom- 
field, Central Consolidated, Farmington, and 
Grants systems in 1977. In all but the Farmington 
Public School District, teachers' qualifications fell 
beneath the New Mexico average according to the 
State index of training and experience (New 
Mexico Department of Finance and Administra- 
tion, 1978b). 

The four public institutions of higher education 
located in northwestern New Mexico have also 
been experiencing rapid growth. The Gallup 
branch of the University of New Mexico was es- 
tablished in 1968; in 1977, it had more than 900 
students and 40 faculty members. The San Juan 
and Grants divisions of New Mexico State Univer- 
sity had a total of 1,325 students and 95 faculty 
members in the same year, while the branch of the 
Navajo Community College at Shiprock was esti- 
mated to have an enrollment of 300 and a faculty 
of 23. 

Health Care 

Public health care systems in the study region 
consist of IHS programs designed for the Indian 
population, and the programs of county health 
agencies and non-profit hospital corporations for 
the remainder of the region's inhabitants (Map II- 
18 and Table 11-25). McKinley County is the medi- 
cal center of northwestern New Mexico, with three 
hospitals in Gallup, including the large Gallup 
Indian Medical Center. The facility at Gallup is the 
IHS hospital of reference for much of the Four 
Corners area and possesses many sophisticated 
medical technologies. Non-Indians do not possess a 
comparable resource, and local hospitals usually 
refer patients to hospitals in Albuquerque, Denver, 
or Phoenix. 

Most parts of the ES Region have a serious 
shortage of doctors, registered nurses, dentists, and 
health care facilities (Table 11-26). Only McKinley 
County has an adequate supply of licensed practic- 
ing nurses and hospital beds. The available facilities 
are usually located in urban areas; rural communi- 
ties are poorly served despite the scattering of out- 
patient clinics. The deficiencies are especially 
severe in Rio Arriba County, which was designat- 
ed as a critical medical shortage/dental shortage 
area by the Secretary of Health, Education and 
Welfare in January, 1977. By the same standards, 
western Valencia County would appear to qualify 
as a critical dental shortage area (U.S. Department 
of Health, Education and Welfare, 1978). 



Public Safety and Police Protection 

Reported crimes in the study region have been 
increasing. In the Governor's Council of Criminal 
Justice 1977 Comprehensive Plan, San Juan and 
Valencia Counties were designated Class II High 
Crime Areas. These two counties, as shown in 
Table 11-27, have the highest per capita crime rates 
in northwestern New Mexico. Local officials sug- 
gest that actual crime rates may be nearly equal in 
all counties because many crimes against Hispanos 
and Indians in rural areas are not reported. In Mc- 
Kinley County, for example, an estimated 50 to 75 
percent of crimes committed outside Gallup are not 
reported (McKinley County Sheriffs Department, 
personal communication, 1977). 

Local police departments meet national standards 
in number of residents per officer, with the excep- 
tion of rural areas of Rio Arriba, Sandoval and 
Valencia Counties (Table 11-27). However, the vast 
land area, rugged terrain, dispersed populations, 
and the checkerboard pattern of land ownership 
further complicate police protection. State, county 
and tribal jurisdictions overlap, occasionally result- 
ing in confusion over jurisdiction. 

Fire Control 

Fire control agencies are generally limited to 
urban areas. Rural areas possess little or no fire 
protection, other than from agencies like the BLM 
and the Forest Service. Existing fire departments 
meet or exceed accepted standards in number of 
personnel, equipment, and facilities (Table 11-28). 
However, outside incorporated communities, fire 
protection is usually poor. San Juan County, where 
six rural fire districts have been organized, is an 
exception. As might be expected, the greatest 
number of full-time, professional firemen and 
modern equipment are located in Farmington, 
Gallup and Grants. 

These cities' fire departments extend their serv- 
ices to adjacent rural areas on an "as needed" basis. 
Federal agencies responsible for public lands in the 
study region also join in fighting fires that threaten 
broad areas. The BLM has fire stations at Cuba 
and Farmington; the Forest Service has stations 
located near Fort Wingate, El Morro and Grants. 

Water-Supply Systems and Wastewater Treatment 

Few rural communities in the study region pos- 
sess the water-supply systems and wastewater-treat- 
ment facilities that are features of urban areas. 
Water supply and wastewater treatment require ad- 
vanced technologies in what is essentially a desert 
environment. Surface water is scarce and only sea- 
sonally available, even along the Animas, San Juan 
and Puerco Rivers. Ground water often has a large 
quantity of minerals and salts, and withdrawals 
must be processed. 



11-113 



Table 11-25 
PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEMS IN THE ES REGION, 1977 



1/ 



Health Care Agency 



Facilities 



1/, 5/ 1/ No. of 
Accredi- No. of Hospital 
tation Personnel Beds 



Average 
Hospital 

Bed 
Occupancy 



1/ 



2/, 6/ 



Out-Patient Facilities 



MCKINLEY COUNTY 

Indian Health Service 1/ 



McKinley General Hospital 2/ 
Presbyterian Health Services 
Rehoboth Christian Hospital 
RIO ARRIBA COUNTY 3/ 
_ Centro Campesino de Salud 
£ SANDOVAL COUNTY 4/ 

£ Presbyterian Medical Service 



SAN JUAN COUNTY 2/ 
Brethren in Christ 
Indian Health Service 

£/ 

Presbyterian Medical Service 
San Juan Regional Medical Center 
Seventh Day Adventists 2/ 

VALENCIA COUNTY 

Cibo'la General Hospital 



Crownpoint Indian Hospital 
Gallup Indian Medical Center 
Zuni Indian Hospital 
Ojo Encino Clinic 

Coyote Clinic 
Cuba Cliric 



Navajo Health Care Center 
Shiprock Indian Hospital 

Nageezi Clinic 
San Juan Hospital 
Lavida Mission Clinic 



B 

A, B 

B 

B 
C 
A, B 



C 
A, B 

C 

A, B 
C 

A 



107 


56 


415 


181 


101 
105 


45 

60 


6 
85 


none 
41 


3 


none 


10 


10 


5 

127 


none 
69 


5 
260 


none 
118 


2 


none 



41.1 

76.8 

30.8 
62.2 

61.0 



64 



43 



66.2 
61.0 
44.2 



No permanent field stations; 

periodic clinics at 7 locations 

Field stations at PInedale, 

Tohatchi and Wingate 

None 

None 

Field station of Cuba Clinic 

None 

Field station of Espanola Clinic 

Satellite stations at 
Counselors, Nageezi, Ojo 
Encino, and Torreon 

None 

Satellite stations at 
Sanostee and Toadlena 

None 
None 

None 



1/ American Hospital Association, 1977- 

2/ U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Public Health Service, Inidan Henim Service, 1976. 

3/ Information supplied by Centro Campesino de Salud of Espanola, 1978. 

47 New Mexico Energy Resources Board, 1977- 

5/ The code regarding accreditation is : A-accredited by the Joint Commission of the American Hospital Association; 

B-mernber of American Hospital Association, not accredited; and C-clinic, not accredited. 

6/ Only facilities open daily shown. 

7/ Provides services primarily to Indian people; non- Indians served on an emergency basis only. 



Table II- 26 
ADEQUACY OF HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS IN THE ES REGION, 1977 



Area 



Population 



Physicians 

Residents 
Number per 



Registered Nurses 
Residents 
Number per 



Licensed Nurses 
Residents 
Number per 



Dentists 

Residents 
Number per 



Hospital Beds 

Residents 
Number per 



McKinley County 



1/ 



Rio Arriba County-Coyote±/ 
and Jicarilla CCD's 

Sandoval County-Cuba CCD-- 

San Juan County— 

£ Valencia County-Pence Lake 
w Grants, and Laguna CCD's 

ES Region 

Accepted Standard 



V 



58,000 



63 



921 



100 



580 



77 



753 



14 



4,143 



383 



151 



4,650 





— 


1 


4,650 





— 





— 





— 


3,600 


4 


900 


4 


900 


4 


900 


1 


3,600 


10 


360 


68,700 


58 


1,184 


36 


1,908 


50 


1,374 


23 


2,987 


187 


367 


27,400 


7 


3,914 


4 


6,850 


4 


6,850 


3 


9,133 


43 


637 


162,350 


132 


1,230 


145 


1,120 


135 


1,203 


41 


3,960 


623 


261 


— 


— 


620^/ 


— 


260^- / 


— 


87CA 7 


— 


1,725^ 7 





250^ / 



1/ 

— New Mexico Energy Resources Board, 1977b. 

- ' Information supplied by Centro Campesino de Salud of Espanola, 1978. 

3/ As given by the American Medical Association, 1977- 

4/ As proposed by U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, September, 1977- 



Table II- 27 
ADEQUACY OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND POLICE PROTECTION IN THE ES REGION, 1977 



1976 2/' 5/ 1971-1976 i f> 5/ incorporated Communities 2/ Unincorporated Areas —' > —' 

Reported Percent 

Crimes per Increase in No. of Residents per No. of Residents per 

Area Population Thousand Crimes Officers Officer Officers Officer 



McKinley County 




58,000 


35.5 


15-9 


44 


418 


125 


317 


Rio Arriba County - 
Coyote and Jicarilla 
CCD's 




4,650 


41.8 


20.8 


_ 




2.5 


1,786 


Sandoval County - 
Cuba CCD 




3,600 


24.3 


12.9 


4 


138 


3 


1,016 


San Juan County 




68,700 


46.4 


11.2 


77.5 


472 


69 


465 


Valencia County - 
Fence Lake, Grants 


















& Laguna CCD's 




27,100 


46.8 


18.6 


31 


416 


10 


1,460 


ES Region 




162,350 


41.9 


15-3 


156.5 


437 


209.5 


385 


Accepted Standard 3/, 


v 


— 


52.8 


8.4 


— 


500 


— 


500 



1/ New Mexico Governor's Council on Criminal Justice Planning, 1977. 

2/ New Mexico Energy Resources Board, 1977Q- 

3/ Crime rate standard is national average, percent increase in crimes is state average. 

V Residents per officer ratios as recommended by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

5/ Crime rates and percent increase in crimes reported on a county-wide base. 

57 Officers in unincorporated areas include State, county and tribal policemen; ratios count only populations in 
unincorporated areas. 



Table IT- 2P 
ADEQUACY OF FIRE PROTECTION IN THE ES REGION, 1977 



Area 



McKlnley County 



Population 



1/2/ 
Incorporated Communities 

Professional/ 

Volunteer Residents per 

Fire Stations Firemen Fireman 



58,000 



Rio Arriba County- 
Coyote and Jicarilla 

CCD's 


'4,650 





Sandoval County- 
Cuba CCD 


3,600 


1 


San Juan County 


68,700 


4 


Valencia County- 
Fence Lake, Grants & 
Laguna CCD's 


27,HO0 


3 


ES Region 


162,350 


10 



Accepted Standard 



3/ 



23/ 15 



1/ 40 
49/ 75 

10/ 34 
83/164 



484 



295 



294 



560 



1/2/ 



. nincorporated Areas 
Professional/ 
No. of Volunteer Residents per 

Fire Stations Firemen Fireman 



25/ 50 



11 



25/200 



520 



(served by Cuba Fire Department) 
7 0/150 214 



400 

560 



1/ New Mexico Energy Resources Board, 19771'. 

2/ Figures art; estimated due to imprecise boundaries of fire control areas; part of the Gallup llr-r Department has boon allocated to unincorporated 

areas, for example. 
3/ Residents per fireman ratios conform to average for small municipalities given by International City Management Association. 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



In areas presently served by water-supply sys- 
tems, supplies are usually sufficient to satisfy pres- 
ent consumption (Table 11-29). However, many 
communities have need for expansion of their cur- 
rent water service, and for upgraded system main- 
tenance to meet future needs (New Mexico Energy 
Resources Board, 1977). In Aztec, Crownpoint and 
Bloomfield, peak daily demand for water exceeds 
supply. Farmington is in the planning phrase of a 
program that should be under construction in 1979 
and operational by 1981, and is designed to meet 
projected needs to 1990. Gallup presently has the 
output capacity, but has some distribution needs 
and major problems related to finding new sources 
of water. Many of the other communities have 
distribution problems even though supplies are ade- 
quate. Grants has adequate capacity now and is 
staying ahead of its needs. An exploratory well is 
presently being drilled, and will have capacity 
within five years to meet water supply needs 
through 1990. 

Most facilities for wastewater treatment are ade- 
quate. However, the Aztec and Bloomfield water- 
treatment plants are operating at 100 and 225 per- 
cent of capacity. The expansion of some collection 
and treatment facilities is underway. Gallup is pres- 
ently building a digester, a clarifier, and dewatering 
facilities, but needs for capacity expansion by 1983 
are foreseen. Grants is in the first phase of a 
sewage treatment expansion, to be constructed 
within three years, that would be adequate to serv- 
ice the city beyond 1990 (oral communication with 
various municipality officials, 1979). Wastewater 
quality is reportedly deficient at Crownpoint and 
Cuba, where design capacities for water treatment 
are not yet being exceeded, but where effluents 
violate State standards. 

Most rural inhabitants of the Navajo Reservation 
and Eastern Navajo Agency must haul untreated 
water from springs and wells. Rural residents in 
other parts of the study region depend on individu- 
al, privately-owned sources of water. Where resi- 
dential systems exist, sewage is usually delivered to 
septic tanks. 

Solid- Waste Disposal 

Disposal of solid waste is not a major problem. 
County dumps and sanitary landfills are located 
near urban communities (Table 11-30). Most mu- 
nicipalities have collection services, either operated 
by local governments or under contract. Neverthe- 
less, trash burning and indiscriminate dumping still 
occur, and in rural areas there are few alternatives. 

Electric and Natural Gas Utilities 

The ES Region is well supplied with energy by 
the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) of the 
Bureau of Reclamation, by municipal, private and 



cooperative power companies, and by natural gas 
distributors. Electricity is delivered to the region 
from CRSP and from the Four Corners and San 
Juan Generating Stations near Farmington. Total 
electric consumption in 1977 was estimated at 868.3 
million kilowatt hours (kwh), or 5,348 kwh per 
resident for all uses (McKinley Area Council of 
Governments, 1977a). Recent growth in demand 
for electricity has been rapid; the Continental 
Divide Electric Cooperative has reported approxi- 
mately seven percent annual increases in the 
number of electrical connections. Demand for natu- 
ral gas has been increasing at a lesser rate, due to 
rising prices that reflect the national gas shortage. 

Social and Cultural Characteristics 

Anglo Residents 

The Anglo lifestyle encourages use of resources 
for economic gain, and emphasis is placed on each 
person doing his best to "get ahead" in terms of 
lifestyle, income, and other factors considered to be 
indicative of success. Until recently, little attention 
has been given to environmental concerns and the 
conservation of resources. The attitude has seemed 
to prevail among Anglos that resources are to be 
used to satisfy all desires, and when these resources 
are depleted, it is permissible to move on to where 
others exist. Many of the Anglo residents have no 
family or traditional ties to a community, and as a 
result, their concerns are related to determining 
whether or not the community meets their needs 
and those of their families for the immediate future. 
The idea of mobility and temporary residence is 
widespread. Anglo residency in the area has been 
of rather short duration compared to 4 to 5 centur- 
ies in some cases for the Indian Tribes. 

Hispanic Residents 

The Hispanic people have close family ties and 
frequently live in family communities. Much of 
their lives and activities center around providing 
the necessities for subsistence in their communities. 
A strong tie to the land traditionally binds family 
group. The family tract of land is one of their main 
resources. As the families have grown, the land 
ownership has been divided, until few large owner- 
ships exist; yet, many families continue to exist on 
these small landholdings. Formal education has not 
been considered essential, and most of their cultur- 
al, social and religious values were developed 
around family ideals and practices. In recent years, 
some of these people have been acquiring more 
education, seeking more wagework and non-agri- 
cultural types of employment, and, in general, 
adopting some different values. However, their 
feelings toward the land, its ownership, and their 
relationship to the land have not changed. Little 



11-118 



Table 11-29 
WATER-SUPPLY AND WASTEWATER-TREATMENT SYSTEMS IN THE ES REGION, 1977 



Corrmunity Systems 



MCKINLEY COUNTY 
Crownpoint 

Gallup 



Water Supply jZ 

Average 
Capacity Consumption 
(gallons/day) ( gallons/day) 



Wastewater Treatment —' 
Capacity Average Flow 
(gallons /day) (gallons/day) 



Comment 



5,000 



650,000 



5,000,000 3,500,000 



1/ New Mexico Energy Resources Board, 1977b. 

2/ Farmington pipes water to adjacent unincorporated areas of 



240,000 
2,500,000 



Thoreau 




36,000 


17,000 




28,000 


Other public & private 


systems 


900,000 


300,000 




— 


SANDOVAL COUNTY 












Cuba 




310,000 


80,000 




120,000 


SAN JUAN COUNTY 












Aztec 




3,000,000 


1,400,000 




500,000 


Bloomfield 




2,000,000 


1,200,000 




125,000 


Farmington it 




24,000,000 


8,500,000 


10 


,000,000 


Other public & private 


systems 


646,000 


N.A. 




— 


VALENCIA COUNTY 












Grants/Milan 




6,200,000 


3,500,000 


2 


,000,000 



240,000 

1,600,000 

15,000 

70,000 

500,000 
280,000 

3,000,000 



Effluents violate state standards. 
Expansion of both systems underway. 

Expansion of water supply being 
considered. 



Effluents violate state standards. 
Expansion of both systems underway. 

Expansion of sewer system underway. 

Effluents violate state standards. 
Expansion of sewer system underway. 



1,480,000 Trunk line between communities overloaded; 
expansion underway . 



Pruitland, Kirtland and Wat.erflow, and to ,-riiprock. 



County/Communities 



McKinley 

Crownpoint 

Gallup 



Sandoval 
Cuba 

San Juan 
m Aztec 

© Bloomfleld 



Farmington 



Valencia 
Grants 

Milan 



Table 11-30 
SOLID-WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES IN THE ES REGION, 1977 



Personnel 



Equipment 



Condition of 
Equipment 



1 


2 

1 


collectors 
landfill 


Adequate 


40 


7 collectors 
6 landfills 


Adequate 


3 


2 


landfill 


Adequate 


4 


2 

1 


collectors 
landfill 


Adequate 


2.5 


1 
1 


collector 
landfill 


Inadequate 


30 


13 
3 


collectors 
landfills 


Adequate 


7 


4 
2 


collectors 
landfills 


Adequate 


5 


2 

1 


collectors 
landfill 


Adequate 



Landfills 



1.5 acres, no lifespan estimate 
57 acres, 10-year expected life 

3 acres, 10-year expected life 
10 acres, 4-year expected life 

10 acres, no lifespan estimate 

20 acres, no lifespan estimate 

20 acres, 5-year expected life 

20 acres, no lifespan estimate 



Source: New Mexico Energy Resources Board, 1977b. 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



emphasis has been placed on accumulations of eco- 
nomic wealth in the traditional Hispanic lifestyle. 

Indian Residents 

The Indian lifestyles and cultural practices show 
some variation by tribal group. However, the 
Indian people generally tend to view the earth and 
its resources with some degree of reverence and 
respect, and as a means to sustain life. The Navajos 
are by far the largest of the tribes within the area. 
Traditionally, they consider the earth sacred and 
many of their ceremonies were established to main- 
tain the balance between their lives and the earth. 
They live in a matrilineal, extended-family society 
where economic goods are shared and the family 
works cooperatively to sustain all the members 
who follow tribal customs and practices. The accu- 
mulation of wealth for later use or for the sake of 
having more than others is not a part of the tradi- 
tional Indian lifestyle. Although exposure to the 
Anglo culture has modified this aspect somewhat 
among younger people. Lands have been held for 
family use for one generation after another, and 
even though wagework influences have required 
some family members to move away, the extended 
family concept has been adopted and the family 
members who leave for work frequently return to 
enjoy the family surroundings. For many years the 
Indian people have placed little value on formal 
education, but the number of their people seeking 
higher levels of education has increased significant- 

While Anglos, Hispanos, and Indians have 
shared a primarily agrarian lifestyle, they have 
maintained a measure of independence, with sepa- 
rate languages, value systems, and religious tradi- 
tions. Recent minerals development has resulted in 
the in-migration of Anglos from outside northwest- 
ern New Mexico. Small-scale subsistence grazing 
has become less profitable, forcing rural residents 
of all backgrounds to migrate into urban areas to 
obtain work. These trends have brought the three 
cultures into greater contact and occasional con- 
flict. The predominance of Anglos in the cities has 
intensified pressures on Hispanos and Indians to 
conform to the predominant values and lifestyles. 

Relations between members of the three groups 
are often strained. There still are tensions between 
Hispanos and Anglos, and Hispanos still suffer 
from discrimination. However, the major tensions 
are between Indians and Anglos. One reason for 
conflict in Indian-Anglo relationships is a variance 
in economic and political interests, in which Indi- 
ans consider themselves to be at a disadvantage. 
The values, beliefs, and customs of the Indians 
often seem alien and incomprehensible to in-mi- 
grant Anglos unfamiliar with the region and its 
cultural history (New Mexico Advisory Commit- 



tee, 1975). Finally, Anglos feel that Indians receive 
preferential treatment in the form of public assist- 
ance, medical care, and other benefits, at the ex- 
pense of non-Indian taxpayers. 

FUTURE ENVIRONMENT WITHOUT 
THE PROPOSED ACTION 

Without the proposed action, new investment in 
mines and related facilities will continue on State, 
Indian and private land, and on Federal land for 
which developments have received individual ap- 
proval. Expansion of both uranium and coal 
mining, oil and gas exploration, and development 
of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project will further 
stimulate the regional economy and promote in- 
migration of new residents, with consequences for 
all components of community infrastructure and 
for the values, lifestyles and relationships of the 
region's three cultures. 

The population of the five-county area is pro- 
jected to increase without the proposed action at 
an average annual rate of 2.6 percent between 1977 
and 1980 (Table 11-31). The population in New 
Mexico increased 2.8 percent annually between 
1970 and 1976. Rapid growth will continue in most 
areas except in San Juan County, where the com- 
pletion of several major construction projects will 
reduce the rate of population increase. In the 
1980's, population growth in the five counties will 
continue at an average of more than 2.5 percent a 
year. Tables 11-32 and 11-33 give additional data on 
expected population growth. The minerals industry 
likely will continue to be the dominant economic 
activity in the ES Region after government, at 
least through the end of the present century. 

Without the proposed Federal action, most of 
the study region's coal resources would be left 
undisturbed and intact. By 1980, about 9.6 million 
tons of coal per year would be depleted by existing 
mines on Federal coal, and by existing and future 
mines on State and private coal. Coal production in 
1990 would be about the same as 1980. Depletion 
of the ES Region's resources of minerals other than 
coal, such as oil, gas, uranium, humate, and sand 
and gravel will continue to the extent of future 
market demands for these commodities. Depletion 
of rock materials used for landscaping and orna- 
mental stone work will continue at a negligible rate 
dictated by individual usage and architectural 
design. 

This growth of energy-related industry and the 
concomittant increase in population will alter land 
use in some areas, change air quality, increase the 
demands for water, and continue to change other 
resources in the region. Most of these changes will 
be local, and will occur gradually during the next 
10 years or more. 



11-121 



Table 11-31 
PROJECTED DATA ON THE POPULATION OP THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA 



Item 



McKlnley 
County 



Rio Arriba 
County 



Sandoval 
County 



San Juan 
County 



Valencia 
County 



Five 
Counties 



Population in 1977 
1977-80 Growth Rate 
Population in 1980 
1980-85 Growth Rate 
Population in 1985 
1985-90 Growth Rate 
Population in 1990 

Population density in 1977 
Population density in 1980 
Population density in 1985 
Population density in 1990 

Percent speaking English, 1977 
Percent speaking English, 1990 
Percent speaking Spanish, 1977 
Percent speaking Spanish, 1990 
Percent speaking Indian, 1977 
Percent speaking Indian, 1990 
Other, 1977 
Other, 1990 

Per capita income, 1977 — 
Per capita income, 1980 2/ 
Per capita income, 1985 —' 
Per capita income, 1990 1/ 
Annual percent change, 1977-90 



58,000 


28,100 


24,400 


68,700 


49,900 


229,100 


2.9 


1.8 


3-3 


1.8 


3-3 


2.6 


63,150 


29,600 


26,900 


72,500 


54,950 


247,100 


2.1 


1.8 


4.0 


1.9 


3.8 


2.6 


70,050 


32,350 


32,750 


79,650 


66,200 


281,010 


2.1 


1.8 


4.1 


1.9 


3-8 


2.7 


77,900 


35,400 


40,100 


87,500 


79,750 


320,650 


10.6 


4.8 


6.6 


12.5 


8.8 


8.8 


11.6 


5.1 


7.2 


13-1 


9-7 


9.4 


12.8 


5.5 


8.8 


14.5 


11.7 


10.7 


li). 3 


6.1 


10.8 


15-9 


14.1 


12.3 


30.8 


15-7 


28.5 


58.7 


45.3 


39-9 


34.3 


15.2 


33.9 


60.5 


49.7 


43.1 


9.7 


68.9 


31.8 


6.5 


39.8 


25.8 


9.2 


69.3 


29.3 


6.2 


36.6 


24.4 


58.8 


15.1 


39.0 


34.0 


13.9 


33.4 


55.8 


15.2 


36.1 


32.5 


12.8 


31.8 


• 7 


• 3 


.7 


.8 


1.0 


• 9 


.7 


.3 


.7 


.8 


■ 9 


.7 


$1,362 


$3,743 


$3,481 


$5,180 


$4,620 


$4,494 


4,753 


3,995 


3,717 


5,693 


5,123 


4,908 


5,465 


4,675 


4,146 


6,664 


6,086 


5,706 


6,329 


5,270 


4,625 


7,801 


7,230 


6,625 


2.9 


2.7 


2.2 


3.2 


3-5 


3.0 



Sources: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 
1/ In constant 1977 dollars. 






Table II- 32 
PROJECTED URBAN-RURAL POPUMTION DISTRIBUTION FOR THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA, 1977-1990 



Urban Rural 

County Year Population Population 



McKinley 


1977 


26,100 


31,900 




1980 


29,250 


33,900 




1985 


32,600 


37,450 




1990 


36,850 


41,050 


Rio Arriba 


1977 


5,600 


22,500 




1980 


9,200 


20,400 




1985 


12,400 


19,950 




1990 


16,000 


19,400 


Sandoval 


1977 





24,400 




1980 





26,900 




1985 





32,750 




1990 





40,100 


San Juan 


1977 


39,900 


28,800 




1980 


44,250 


28,250 




1985 


51,600 


28,050 




1990 


57,650 


29,850 


Valencia 


1977 


18,900 


31,000 




1980 


24,050 


30,900 




1985 


28,250 


37,950 




1990 


32,700 


47,050 


Five Counties 


1977 


90,500 


138,600 




1980 


106,750 


140,350 




1985 


124,850 


156,150 




1990 


143,200 


177,450 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978, 



Table II- 33 
PROJECTED POPULATION OP MAJOR COMMUNITIES IN THE ES REGION, 1977-1990 1 



County 


1977 


1980 


1985 


1990 


MCKINLEY COUNTY 










Crownpolnt (U) ^ 


3,500 


4,800 


5,650 


7,000 


Gallup (C) 


18,400 


20,150 


22,150 


24,550 


Prewltt (U) 2 


400 


550 


700 


850 


Thoreau (U) 2 


720 


1,700 


1,900 


2,450 


Zuni Pueblo (U) 


4,200 


4,300 


4,850 


5,300 


SANDOVAL COUNTY 










Cuba (V) 


550 


600 


650 


750 


SAN JUAN COUNTY 










Aztec (C) 


4,650 


5,800 


6,650 


8,150 


Bloomfield (V) 


2,200 


2,650 


2,950 


3,500 


Farmington (C) 


29,750 


32,650 


35,650 


39,050 


Shiprock (U) 3 


5,500 


5,800 


6,350 


6,950 


VALENCIA COUNTY 










Grants (C) 


9,900 


13,500 


15,350 


17,600 


Milan (V) 


3,000 


4,200 


4,950 


5,900 



Sources : 

1 Harbridge House, Inc. 5 1978. 

2 McKinley Area Council of Governments, 1977b. 

3 Turney, W. P. and Associates, 1976. 

Notes: (U), unincorporated 

(C), incorporated as city 
(V) , incorporated as village 



11-124 



Regional Analysis 

Land Use 

Livestock grazing would continue to be the 
major land use in the region. Forage production 
would be expected to increase on all planning units 
due to more intensive management. All the public 
lands in the region would be included in allotment 
management plans. Some form of pasture rotation 
grazing system would be adopted for all grazing 
allotments. An accompanying increase in range im- 
provements (fencing, water development, vegeta- 
tive manipulation, seeding) would also be expected. 

The elimination of food sources, breeding and 
nesting sites, and cover for certain wildlife species 
occupying limited home ranges will reduce wildlife 
habitat. Increased human activities associated with 
the construction, operation, and maintenance of 
these facilities may alter movement patterns of 
some species such as antelope and deer in the area, 
and will result in increased recreational use. Tail- 
ings ponds associated with uranium milling oper- 
ations will disturb a large portion of the total acre- 
age in these areas. 

Approximately 183,000 acres of wildlife habitat 
will be converted to agricultural use by the Navajo 
Indian Irrigation Project and the Animas-La Plata 
Project. Mammal and bird species that adapt favor- 
ably to cropland habitat will increase. Species that 
cannot adapt to croplands will die out or migrate. 
Competition between migrating species and those 
already in the habitat will result in a loss of animals 
until the carrying capacity is again reached. Devel- 
opment of irrigation land, however, will increase 
potential upland game bird productivity due to the 
availability of food such as barley, corn, milo, and 
alfalfa. The proposed development of livestock 
feedlots, dairy farms and other agribusiness facili- 
ties will encourage establishment of pest species 
such as starlings, sparrows, house mice and other 
undesirables. 

Livestock grazing will continue to exert a major 
influence on wildlife species and related habitats. 
Implementation of the management grazing systems 
on public lands is expected to stabilize plant com- 
munities and, ultimately, improve wildlife habitat. 
However, on Tribal lands, assuming that present 
grazing practices are prolonged, undesirable plant 
species such as broom snakeweed, Russian thistle, 
rabbitbrush, and others will continue to increase. 
Establishment of these plant communities would 
encourage increased small mammal, bird, and rep- 
tile populations. This increase in small animal pop- 
ulations would, in turn, influence coyotes, foxes, 
and raptoral birds to utilize the area as feeding 
grounds. 

The most critical limiting factor to the wildlife 
resources will be the lack of available water supply 
in the region during future years. Sedimentation in 



Environment 

the San Juan River watershed would be expected 
to increase as the result of other developments. 

Future recreation use within the ES Region and 
demand on community and urban recreation facili- 
ties will increase moderately. It is doubtful that 
there will be major changes in recreation activities, 
but development will displace some activities. The 
quality of the recreation experience of people look- 
ing for solitude, primitive values and sightseeing 
will be reduced. 

The lands identified as meeting the roadless and 
wilderness characteristics criteria as identified in 
FLPMA will be managed in accordance with the 
law to prevent the impairment of their suitability 
for designation as wilderness. Restrictions imposed 
by Section 603 of FLPMA will no longer apply to 
those inventory lands that clearly and obviously do 
not meet wilderness study area criteria. The Secre- 
tary of the Interior and the BLM must report their 
suitability recommendations to the President no 
later than October 21, 1991. The President must 
then report his final recommendations to Congress 
within two years and Congress will decide what 
areas, if any, become wilderness. 

Air Quality 

Modeling was used to predict the future annual 
average and 24-hour concentrations of total sus- 
pended particulates (TSP), sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ), 
and nitrogen dioxide (N0 2 ) in the ES Region 
(Radian Corp., 1978). 

The highest concentrations of air pollutants will 
continue to occur in areas which have the highest 
concentrations at the present. However, the level 
of these pollutants are expected to change in re- 
sponse to emission levels from specific sources in 
and adjacent to the region. 

Population increases will result in proportional 
increases in emissions of particulates, sulfur dioxide 
(S0 2 ), and nitrogen dioxide (NO s ) from major 
towns in the region. Farmington and Gallup, the 
largest urban centers in the region, will continue as 
the greatest sources of emissions from urban cen- 
ters. 

Emissions of particulates, S0 2 , and N0 2 from the 
San Juan Generating Station will increase as addi- 
tional generating units begin operation in 1979 and 
1981. Emissions of these pollutants from the Four 
Corners Generating Station will be reduced by 
controls implemented in 1982. The net result of 
these actions will be lower maximum concentra- 
tions of total suspended particulates and S0 2 in the 
northwestern part of the ES Region, and a reduc- 
tion of approximately 20 percent in the area affect- 
ed by the maximum N0 2 concentration. 

Fugitive dust will be emitted from mines operat- 
ing in the region that are not dependent on the 
proposed action being addressed in this ES. Those 



11-125 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



mines which have a potential to emit more than 
250 tons per year of uncontrolled particulates, and 
that will be required to obtain prevention of signifi- 
cant deterioration (PSD) permits from the Envi- 
ronmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be re- 
quired to use best management practices to control 
fugutive dust. To obtain a PSD permit, the appli- 
cant must select practices and controls that are 
most suitable for the mining operation and that are 
also acceptable to EPA. Meeting these conditions 
will result in minimal fugitive dust emissions from 
mines in the region. 

Chaco Canyon National Monument is currently 
designated as a Class II area for air quality pur- 
poses. This monument is currently being consid- 
ered for a change to Class I designation, which 
would reduce the maximum allowable increases in 
concentrations of particulate matter and S0 2 that 
could occur without violating PSD regulations. 
Redesignation of this monument to Class I may 
prevent implementation of some operations that 
would be allowable under the Class II designation. 

The average annual horizontal visibility in both 
the northern and southern parts of the ES Region 
away from the influence of towns, coal mines and 
power-generating stations is expected to remain 
near the existing baseline. By 1990, the visibility in 
the area around Farmington is expected to improve 
from 28 miles to 30 miles. The visibility in the ES 
Region that is influenced by two generating sta- 
tions also is expected to increase as pollution-re- 
duction equipment is installed. The visibility within 
a 2-mile zone of Gallup is expected to decrease 
from 53 miles to 44 miles. Annual average visibility 
within 3 miles of the McKinley Mine would also 
be 44 miles. 

Water Resources 

Because of the expected increase in population in 
the ES Region and the nationwide trend toward 
increasing per capita water use, demand for water 
will increase even without the proposed action. If 
population in the region increases about 60,000, and 
per capita use by 1990 is 100 gal/d, this increased 
demand would be about 6,000 acre-feet a year. A 
like amount of water would be needed to meet 
demands of the expanding energy development. 
Most of this water would be obtained from 
ground-water sources. The Navajo Indian Irriga- 
tion Project will be withdrawing about 330,000 
acre-feet yearly from Navajo Reservoir. 

Overall, surface-water discharge, sediment dis- 
charge, and water quality are not expected to 
change appreciably in the region as a whole. How- 
ever, some local changes probably would occur 
near areas of development. 



Transportation 

Highways in the ES Region are presently carry- 
ing loads that approach or exceed design specifica- 
tions. As shown in Table 11-15, one-third of the 
roads in northwestern New Mexico are deteriorat- 
ed and considered to be deficient in terms of safety 
or physical condition (New Mexico State Highway 
Department, 1977b). Highways will not be greatly 
improved by 1990. Improvements to U.S. Highway 
666 and State Highway 44 and 371 will be com- 
pleted by 1985, improving the carrying-capacity of 
these major highways. The number of cars and 
trucks will increase by 64.6 percent between 1977 
and 1990, as an estimated 61,000 more motor vehi- 
cles are added to traffic. These additional auto- 
mobiles will require accelerated maintenance of ex- 
isting roads and construction of new highways. 

Present budgets do not provide for correction of 
poor road conditions in the ES Region. In munici- 
palities like Aztec, Bloomfield and Milan, as much 
as 70 percent of the streets are unpaved, paved 
streets are reportedly in poor condition, and large- 
scale capital improvements are necessary (New 
Mexico Energy Resources Board, 1977). In Far- 
mington, traffic congestion is often severe, and 
plans are being formulated for a mass transit system 
to relieve the pressure on downtown roads. Gallup 
is weighing the expansion of its limited bus line. 

The increase in coal production at the McKinley 
mine and the start up of the Gamerco mine will 
require the addition of coal handling and loading 
facilities to Santa Fe's Defiance branch. Coal pro- 
duced by the La Ventana mine would probably be 
shipped by truck to Bernalillo. Coal loading facili- 
ties would also have to be developed at this site. 
The combined production of these three mines in 
1990 will require four coal unit train trips daily 
(including returning empties). 

Santa Fe plans to replace the automatic block 
signals on its main-line with a traffic control system 
by 1983. This system permits a more efficient utili- 
zation of the existing rail facilities. As a result, the 
theoretical capacity of the line \o handle rail traffic 
will be increased 40 to 60 trains per days. 

A joint venture of the Consolidation Coal Com- 
pany and the El Paso Natural Gas Company (Con- 
Paso) has proposed to construct a rail line from 
Santa Fe's Defiance branch line onto the Navajo 
Indian Reservation. This line would be used to 
haul coal produced on the reservation to Santa 
Fe's main-line for shipment to market. If approved 
and implemented, this could add between 2 and 14 
trains per day to the Defiance branch line and the 
main-line in the region. 

The increases in population and economic activi- 
ty will generate an increased level of demand for 
air travel. This will result in increased general avi- 



11-126 



Regional Analysis 



Environment 



ation operations and, perhaps, increases in the 
number of commercial flights. To accommodate 
this increased demand, improvements are planned 
for air facilities in the region. 

The city of Farmington has been planning for 
the last several years to relocate the municipal air- 
port. If these plans are implemented, the new air- 
port would be constructed east of the city and 
have runways of sufficient length to handle com- 
mercial jet aircraft. Consideration has also been 
given to relocating Senator Clark Field in Gallup 
to a former mine site. This would permit the con- 
struction of runways of sufficient length to handle 
commercial jet aircraft. The Bureau of Indian Af- 
fairs is planning to surface the runways of its air- 
strips at Cuba, Crownpoint, and Shiprock. These 
improvements will permit the use of these facilities 
by larger planes in the general aviation fleet. 

Socioeconomic Conditions 

The total number of jobs in McKinley, Rio 
Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan and Valencia Counties 
will increase by approximately 3.7 percent a year 
between 1977 and 1990. As shown in Table 11-34, 
the sectors experiencing the greatest growth will 
be government and mining. Counties with the larg- 
est gains in employment are projected to be Sando- 
val and Valencia due to suburban growth in the 
vicinity of Albuquerque. Rio Arriba and San Juan 
Counties will have the slowest growth; the latter is 
undergoing a slow-down as construction of the 
Navajo Indian Irrigation Project and the San Juan 
Power Plant ends. 

Personal income in the five-county area will rise 
by 86.4 percent between 1977 and 1990. The great- 
est gains will be registered in the mining sector, 
with personal income increasing from $95.2 million 
to $233.3 million (Table 11-34). Other sectors will 
decline slightly in relative importance, with the 
exceptions of government and agriculture, due 
largely to the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project in 
San Juan County. The government sector will 
remain the most important element in the five- 
county economy, both in employment - 24.2 per- 
cent ~ and income — 24.3 percent. The rapid 
growth of mining and the continued predominance 
of government, both traditionally high wage sec- 
tors, will help push up personal per capita income 
(Table 11-31). Jobless rates are expected to drop, 
despite the in-migration of workers from outside 
the region. 

To meet the needs of a growing population, 
local governments will borrow up to constitutional 
limits, raise mill levies to legal maximums, and 
appeal for Federal and State assistance. Although 
statutes of the State of New Mexico provide for 
aid to localities in areas of minerals resource devel- 
opment, assistance is usually tied to severance tax 



receipts, collection of which begins after mines 
have begun production - and after communities 
have experienced the economic stimulus and in- 
migration associated with the mine. Thus, disburse- 
ment of severance taxes does not meet the need for 
immediate, front-end assistance. In the short-term, 
localities in northwestern New Mexico appear to 
lack an adequate source of increased financing. 

Population growth after 1977 will create new 
demands for housing throughout the ES Region. 
As shown in Table 11-35, the housing supply would 
have to grow by 50.5 percent to satisfy the need 
for 23,770 new homes. In addition, approximately 
10 to 15 percent of existing units will need to be 
replaced because of age and deterioration. Because 
of limited construction of conventional dwellings, 
mobile homes will account for a majority of addi- 
tional units. Recent experience in Grants suggests 
that 80 percent of all new housing will consist of 
mobile homes. For the ES Region, this percentage 
equals 19,000 more mobile homes by 1990. 

Most community services will require expansion 
to accommodate population growth (Tables 11-36 
to 11-39). Aztec, Bloomfield, Farmington, Gallup, 
Grants, and Milan will experience the greatest eco- 
nomic growth, bear the brunt of population in- 
migration, and suffer related problems with com- 
munity infrastructure. 

Other Resources 

A small amount of the topography would be 
altered by man's continuing activities. Natural ero- 
sion and sedimentation would continue to cover 
some geologic exposures and excavate new ones. 

International scientific interest will increase in 
the Upper Cretaceous-Basal Tertiary continental 
sediments because these sediments contain one of 
the few fossil records of the extinction of dinosaurs 
and the early evolution of mammals. Increased sci- 
entific fossil collection will act as a conservation 
force. Fossil preservation is opposed by a high 
potential for fossil loss from weathering, erosion, 
unauthorized collection of fossil materials, and van- 
dalism. Fossil loss would be increased by greater 
accessibility and population increases resulting 
from industrial development. Mining activity on 
state and private lands will destroy parts of valua- 
ble fossil deposits if mitigation measures are not 
instituted. 

At present, archaeological and historic resources 
are being impacted, despite mitigation measures, by 
agricultural development (principally the Navajo 
Indian Irrigation Project) in the northern section of 
the study area, uranium development in the south- 
ern part of the region, natural erosion, unauthor- 
ized collection, and vandalism. Such impacts are 
likely to continue regardless of the proposed 
action. Natural erosion, hastened by grazing, is the 



11-127 



Table II-3I1 

PROJECTED EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME IN THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA, 1990 
(Income is in thousands of 1975 dollars) 



Sector 



Agriculture 

Mining 

Construction 

Manufacturing 

Transportation, Communications, 
" and Utilities 

i 

Trade 

Finance, Insurance, and 
Real Estate 

Services 

Government 

Total 



McKinley County ~^io Arriba County 
Employment Income Employment Income 



Sandoval County San Juan County Valencia County Five-County Area 
Employment Income Employment Income Employment Income Employment Income 



160 $ 3,425 

5,960 101,500 

1,100 18,725 

1,430 16,560 



505 6,130 

5,540 21,105 

9,390 98,355 

30,535 $340,960 



400 $ 2,760 

40 1,550 

200 4,400 

420 5,850 



1,240 19,520 230 5,240 
5,210 55,640 1,065 13,130 



310 3,325 

1,515 24,880 

3,700 42,880 

7,880 $104,065 



565 $ 3,925 

370 6,680 

1,510 4,960 

2,200 8,590 



425 6,415 

2,230 8,865 

1,815 17,440 

10,745 $64,795 



1,375 $ 7,370 635 $ 12,050 3,135 

2,240 76,615 7,085 46,990 15,695 

4,575 65,405 1,430 11,960 8,815 

1,700 12,960 795 3,535 6,545 



630 2,550 3,810 50,510 1,330 19,150 7,240 
1,000 5,370 6,630 51,720 6,245 23,480 20,150 



965 9,060 

6,665 30,125 

6,745 61,605 

34,705 $365,370 



910 7,180 3,115 
3,325 15,800 19,275 
5,230 35,260 26,880 



29,530 
233,335 

105,450 
47,495 

97,020 
149,340 

32,110 
100,775 
255,540 



26,985 $175,405 110,850 $1,050,595 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc. , 19 78. 



Table II- 35 
ESTIMATED HOUSING NEEDS IN THE ES REGION, 1977-I990 





Area 


1977 


1980 


1985 


1990 




McKinley County 


13,800 


15,785 


• 18,435 


21,640 




Rio Arriba County - 
Coyote & 
Jicarilla CCD's 


1,165 


1,290 


1,470 


1,675 




Sandoval County - 
Cuba CCD 


860 


1,120 


1,500 


1,795 


1 

1— ' 

to 
to 


San Juan County 


17,615 


19,595 


22,760 


26,515 




Valencia County - 
Pence Lake, Grants 
& Laguna CCD's 


7,210 


8,430 


10,400 


12,795 




ES Region 


40,650 


46,220 


54,565 


64,420 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 

Note: Housing units calculated on estimated average household site, calculated from 
projections of U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Includes units needed 
to replace substandard housing. 



Table 11-36 

ESTIMATED PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS REQUIREMENTS IN THE ES REGION BY 1990 



Teachers _/ 



School District 



McKinley County 
Gallup-McKinley 
School District 

Rio Arriba County 
Jemez Mountain 
School District 

Sandoval County 

Cuba Independent 
! School District 

San Juan County 
Aztec Public 



1990 
School Age-]/ 
Population— 



Number 
Needed by 

iqoo 



19,475 
1,425 

1,525 



School District 


2,780 


Bloomfield Municipal 




School District 


3,150 


Central Consolidated 




School District 


6,695 


Farmington Public 




School District 


9,255 


Valencia County 




Grants Public 




School District 


10,235 


ES Region 


54,5*10 



927 

68 

73 

132 

150 
318 
MO 

488 
?,596 



Percent 
Increase 
From 1977 



Support Staff 2/ 

Number Percent 

Needed by Increase 

1990 From 1977 



5^.3 

109.2 

40.4 

35.4 
32.7 
37.1 
35.2 

90.0 
51.8 



32 
34 

62 
70 

150 
208 

230 
1,234 



3:5.4 

700.0 

155.6 

287.5 
297.7 
293.1 
288.1 

389.4 
321.4 



Source: llarbridge House, Inc., 1978. 

1/ Ratio applied at 25 percent of projected population. 

2/ Number needed and percent increase figures reflect accepted standards. 



•MM 



Table 11-37 
ESTIMATED HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS IN THE ES REGION BY 1990 



Area 





Physicians = 


Registered Nurses 3/ 


Licensed 


Nurses — ' 


Dent is 


tsi/ 


Hospital Beds 3/ 






Percent 




Percent 




Percent 




Percent 


Percent 


Estimated 


Number 


Increase 


Number 


Increase 


Number • 


Increase 


Number 


Increase 


Number Increase 


1990 


Needed by 


from 


Needed by 


from 


Needed by 


from 


Needed by 


from 


Needed by from 


Population 


1990 


1977 


1990 


1977 


1990 


1977 


1990 


1977 


1990 1977 



McKinley County 

Rio Arriba County 
Coyote & 
Jicarilla CCD's 

Sandoval County 



77,900 



5,700 



126 



100.0 



3/ 



300 



22 



300.0 



2200.0 



90 



16.9 



3/ 



45 



221.4 



3/ 



311 



23 



Source : 

Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 

¥/ SflQQ^M^ W T e f acn "ies met standards given in Table 11-45 were in Licensed Nurses and Hospital Beds in McKinley County 

2/ By 1990 McKinley County will still have a surplus over accepted standards of 18.8 percent *' J 

3/ There were none for that area in 1977. 

5/ ES Region totals may not add due to rounding. 



(18.8} 



, 2/ 



3/ 



Cuba CCD 


6,100 


10 


150. C 


23 




475-0 


7 




75.0 


1 




300.0 


24 


140.0 


San Juan County 


87,500 


141 


143.1 


337 




836.1 


101 




102.0 


51 




121.7 


350 


87.2 


Valencia County - 
Pence Lake, Grants 
& Laguna CCD's 


40,950 


66 


842.9 


158 




38500.0 


47 




1075-0 


2<- 




700.0 


164 


281.4 


ES Region 


218,150 


352 


166.7 


839 


1/ 


478.6 


250 


V 


85.2 


127 


v 


209.8 


872 


40.0 



Table 11-38 
ESTIMATED POLICE AND FIRE PROTECTION l^QU I REMENTS IN THE ES REGION BY 1990 



CO 
to 



Area 


Estimated 

1990 
Population 


Policemen 

No. Needed 

by 1990 


1 

Percent 
Increase 

From 1977 


No 


Firemen 

Needed 
' 1990 


1 

Percent 
Increase 
From 1977 


McKlnley County 


77,900 


156 


2 




139 


23.0 


Rio Arriba County - 
Coyote & 
Jicarllla CCD's 


5,700 


11 


3^0.0 




10 i 


_ 3 


Sandoval County - 
Cuba CCD 


6,100 


12 


71.4 




11 


__ 2 


San Juan County 


87,500 


175 


19-5 




156 


2 


Valencia County - 
Fence Lake, Grants 
& Laguna CCD's 


^0,950 


82 


100.0 




73 


65-9 


ES Region 


218,150 


1436 


19.2 




389 


__ 2 



Source : Harbridge House , Inc . , 1978 . 
1 



Notes 



2 



Number needed and percent Increase figures reflect accepted standards given in Tables 
11-28 and 11-29 . 



Local staffing in 1977 exceeded standards for 1990 population requirements in some areas 
No firemen reported locally in 1977. 



Table II- 3.9 
WATER SUPPLY AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT REQUIREMENTS, ES REGION, 1990 





Area 


Estimated 

1990 
Population 


Water 

Average Use 

By 1990 
(gallons/day) 


Supply 

Percent 
Increase 
From 1977 


Wastewater 

Average Use 

By 1990 
(gallons day) 


2 
Treatment 

Percent 

Increase 

From 1977 




McKinley County 


77,900 


12,931,400 


189-5 


4,267,300 


130.0 




Rio Arriba County - 
Coyote & 
Jlcarllla CCD's 


5,700 


370,500 


__ 3 


122,300 


__ 3 


1— < 
1— < 

1 
H- 1 


Sandoval County - 
Cuba CCD 


6,100 


396,500 


361.9 


130,800 


86.9 


CO 


San Juan County 


87,500 


14,525,000 


25.2 


4,793,300 


19.5 




Valencia County - 
Fence Lake, Grants & 
Laguna CCD's 


40,950 


6,797,700 


94.2 


2,243,200 


5.6 




ES Region 


218,150 


35,021,100 


82.9 


11,556,900 


60.2 



Source: Harbrldge House, Inc., 1978. 

Use calculated using weighted average of urban and rural per capita rates for New Mexico. 

2 Use calculated at 0.333 of water supplies. 

3 No systems existing In 1977. 



Regional Analysis 

least destructive of these impacts. Damage from 
unauthorized collection and vandalism would be 
less in the absence of the proposed action. 

The soils of the region will not change signifi- 
cantly, except in areas where disturbances would 
alter profiles, structure, texture or other features. 
Coal development not dependent on the proposed 
action is expectecd to disturb 4,892 acres by 1980, 
7,484 acres by 1985 and 10,060 acres by 1990. Dis- 
turbance from oil and gas development, uranium 
mining, and urbanization is also expected to in- 
crease through 1990; however, the amount is un- 
known. 

Coal mining that will occur in the region, inde- 
pendent of the proposed action, will result in the 
destruction of the vegetation on about 1,840, 2,800 
and 4,220 acres of grassland, sagebrush, and 
pinyon-juniper vegetation types respectively by 
1990. About 5,750 acres of this would be reclaimed 
to a grassland or grassland-shrub aspect. This 
would result in a net increase of about 3,910 acres 
of the grassland vegetation type. 

The other major development expected to occur 
in the ES Region that would affect vegetation is 
expansion of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. 
This project would affect the vegetation on about 



Environment 

75,000 acres by 1990. About 80 percent of the 
acreage affected would be grassland and the re- 
mainder sagebrush. Nearly 70,000 of these acres 
would be used to raise irrigated crops; the rest 
would be used for agribusiness development and 
support facilities. 

Noise levels in most areas of the ES Region are 
expected to remain at the quiet rural levels. Noise 
levels are expected to increase in some areas, as a 
result of increases in population and vehicular traf- 
fic from other industrial developments. The in- 
creased levels generated by these activities would 
generally be localized and, in some cases, of short 
duration. 

The landscape in the ES Region will not change 
from its characteristic rolling terrain, broad upland 
valleys, mesas, canyon badlands, and dry water 
courses. Some visual intrusions into the characteris- 
tic landscape can be expected through develop- 
ments that are not related to the proposed action. 

Continuing oil and gas exploration, mining oper- 
ations and other possible alternate energy source 
development will result in deviations, primarily 
through disturbance to the soil and vegetation. 
This will result in changes in form, line, color, and 
texture. Other deviations in color and strong line 
dominance will result from surface facilities. 



11-134 



CHAPTER III 



PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS 



THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES THE LEGAL AND REGULATORY CONTROLS 
UNDER WHICH THE PROPOSED ACTIONS AND RELATED 
DEVELOPMENTS WOULD OCCUR. 



CHAPTER III 
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS 



INTRODUCTION 

This chapter presents the planning and environ- 
mental controls under which the proposed 230-kv 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line and the 
Star Lake Railroad would be required to operate if 
approved. The chapter also discusses the planning 
and environmental controls that would apply to the 
potential development of coal resources in the ES 
Region. 

The material in the chapter is organized into 
three sections. The first section discusses the legal 
and regulatory framework that would apply to: (a) 
the two proposed actions and the potential coal 
development in the region, and (b) the protection 
of specific aspects of the natural environment that 
would be affected by potential coal development. 
The second section discusses Federal, State, 
county, and local land-use planning in the ES 
Region. The final section is a summary discussion 
of institutional relationships in the region. 

LEGAL AND REGULATORY 
FRAMEWORK: RESOURCE 
DEVELOPMENT 

Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line 

The law that provides the basis for public land 
and resource management is the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) (43 
U.S.C. 1701-1771). Rights-of-way are granted pur- 
suant to Title V of FLPMA. 

The BLM is responsible for authorizing facilities 
related to resource development that cross public 
lands, such as powerlines and access roads. Proce- 
dures for the issuance of rights-of-way on public 
lands to private individuals or companies are found 
in 43 CFR 2800. The rights-of-way would be ap- 
proved subject to standard requirements for dura- 
tion of the grant, right-of-way widths, fees or costs, 
and bonding to secure obligations imposed by the 
terms and conditions of the right-of-way grant. 
Similarly, rights-of-way across Indian Trust lands 
administered by the BIA would be approved in 
conformance with 25 CFR 161, and approval on 
Navajo Tribal fee lands would be negotiated with 
the Navajo Tribe. 



New Mexico State offices also would be in- 
volved in development of the transmission line. 
Utility lines and roads crossing State land require 
easements from the New Mexico Office of the 
Commissioner of Public Lands, and certificates of 
Public Convenience and Necessity from the New 
Mexico Public Service Commission. 

Star Lake Railroad 

The BLM and BIA are the agencies responsible 
for granting rights-of-way across public and Tribal 
Trust lands for the railroad and the railroad com- 
munication sites. The New Mexico Office of the 
Commissioner of Public Lands is the responsible 
agency for granting easements across State lands 
for railroads and roads, while the Navajo Tribe 
serves the same function for Tribal fee lands. 

The applicable authority for rail line construc- 
tion, operation and abandonment is contained in 
the Interstate Commerce Act (49 U.S.C. I (18). 
Section I (18) provides that a common carrier by 
rail shall not undertake the extension of any of its 
lines or the construction of any additional line of 
railroad, or acquire and operate any such extension 
or any such additional lines without first obtaining 
a certificate from the ICC stating that the public 
convenience and necessity require or would be en- 
hanced by construction and operation of such an 
extended or additional line of railroad. Exempted 
from this authority are certain spur, industrial, 
team, switching or side tracks if such tracks are 
located entirely within one state. A similar certifi- 
cate is required before a common carrier by rail 
can abandon operations over a particular rail line. 

Coal Development 

Federal Legislation 

Potential coal development in the ES Region 
would be controlled by the Mineral Leasing Act of 
1920 (41 Stat. 437 as amended; 30 U.S.C. 181 et 
seq.), the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands 
of 1947 (61 Stat. 913; 30 U.S.C. 351-359), the Fed- 
eral Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 
(FLPMA) (43 U.S.C. 1701-1771), the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 
(SMCRA) (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.), and the Federal 
Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1975 (FCLAA) 



III-l 



Regional Analysis 



Controls 



(30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.). The provisions of these acts 
address the complex problem of protecting the land 
and developing its resources. 

FLPMA requires a comprehensive land-use plan, 
with consideration for present and future uses of 
the land. The act requires consideration of all re- 
sources and land uses in the determination of land- 
use allocations. Of special relevance to potential 
coal development in the ES Region, FLPMA re- 
quires that land uses must be considered prior to 
determination of post-mining land use. 

SMCRA requires a Federal lands program. 
Under the regulations of this act, a mining reclama- 
tion plan would be designed for an intended post- 
mining land use that is in accordance with the 
surface managing agency's comprehensive land-use 
plan. The resource data collected in the process of 
developing the land use plan or the lease stipula- 
tions would be available for use in developing the 
mining and reclamation plan. Further, any perma- 
nent roads, dams, etc. constructed on public lands 
during coal development would meet the design 
standards of the surface managing agency. 

FCLAA requires that a comprehensive land use 
plan must be completed and that the proposed 
lease must be compatible with the plan. This act 
lists specific areas that must be classified as unsuit- 
able for surface mining. 

In addition to their emphasis on comprehensive 
planning, these three acts contain other specific 
requirements. The major requirements are listed 
below. These requirements will serve as mitigating 
measures to reduce the severity of adverse impacts 
stemming from coal development. 

Alluvial Valley Floors and Prime Farm Land 

Baseline data and surveys as prescribed in 30 
CFR 715.17GX3) are required to determine classifi- 
cation of alluvial valley floors and (or) prime farm- 
land. 

Data used in the determination of alluvial valley 
floors include: geomorphology, soils, hydrology, 
flood or subirrigation, vegetation, and land uses. In 
the ES Region, there are some lands along the San 
Juan, La Plata, and Animas Rivers that may meet 
the criteria for alluvial valley floor and (or) prime 
farm land, but no surface mining would occur near 
these lands. 

Lands Classified as Unsuitable for Surface Coal 
Mining 

Lands proposed for surface mining, as well as 
lands included in petition applications requesting 
the designation of coal lands as unsuitable for sur- 
face coal mining, will be processed through the 
surface managing agency's land use planning and 
public involvement procedures. Petition applica- 



tions should be filed with the Office of Surface 
Mining (OSM). 

Prior to designating lands as unsuitable for sur- 
face coal mining the surface managing agency will 
consult with the appropriate State and local agen- 
cies. The surface managing agency will also pre- 
pare a statement on: (1) the potential coal resources 
of the area; (2) the demand for the coal resources; 
and (3) the impact of such a designation on the 
environment, the economy, and the supply of coal. 
This statement shall be forwarded to the Secretary 
of the Department of Interior for review at the 
same time a mining permit is forwarded for ap- 
proval. 

Cultural Resources and Endangered Species 

The surface management agency must assure in- 
ventory of impacted lands for archaeological and 
historic sites, and for endangered and threatened 
species. Stipulations necessary to protect these re- 
sources would be included in a proposed right-of- 
way or mining and reclamation plan. 

Federal Lessee Protection 

Public and Indian lands must be inventoried for 
legally installed structures prior to approval of a 
mining and reclamation plan. Agreements with the 
lessee would be reached or bonds would be ob- 
tained to insure the lessee's investments are protect- 
ed. 

Reclaimability of Land 

Approval of a mining and reclamation plan is 
contingent on the capacity of the lands to support 
post-mining use. Surface mining would not be per- 
mitted when a determination is made that certain 
lands cannot be reclaimed to their pre-mining pro- 
ductive capacity. 

Performance Bonds 

Surety bonds are required at the time of coal 
lease issuance. This surety bond may be readjusted 
before approval of the mining and reclamation 
plan. Minimum surety for reclamation is set by 
SMCRA at $10,000. In addition, a surety bond 
would be required to insure payment to the Gov- 
ernment for each ton of coal mined. 

Use of Explosives 

All mining and reclamation plans submitted for 
approval must meet the requirements of 30 CFR 
715.19 on the use of explosives. 

Water Rights 

The proposed mining areas must be inventoried 
for water use and water rights. Rights-of-way, and 
mining and reclamation plans must include provi- 
sions to protect the water rights of others. 



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Controls 



Revegetation 

To insure that the proposed reclamation plan is 
being developed to meet the objectives of the post- 
mining land use, the composition and density of 
plants necessary to meet the objectives of the post- 
mining land use would be listed in the mining 
permit application. The surface managing agency 
would inspect leases and permit areas for compli- 
ance with terms, conditions and stipulations relat- 
ing to the management and protection of Federal 
lands and resources and post-mining land use. 

Public Health and Safety 

The authorized representative of OSM has the 
authority to enter and inspect for compliance with 
the initial performance standards in 30 CFR 715 
and 716. He has the authority to order a cessation 
of mining or reclamation operations if, in the 
course of an inspection or investigation, he finds 
conditions, practices, or violations of the initial per- 
formance standards which create an imminent 
danger to the public health or safety, or conditions 
or practices which can be expected to cause signifi- 
cant environmental harm. 

Federal Regulatory and Managing 

Agencies 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the 
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Office of 
Surface Mining (OSM) are all involved in imple- 
menting the regulations that apply to coal develop- 
ment. These regulations are contained in the Code 
of Federal Regulations (CFR), in Title 43 CFR 
3500, Title 30 CFR 211, and Title 30 CFR 700, 
respectively. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is 
also involved, implementing regulations contained 
in Title 25 CFR 177 that apply to coal develop- 
ment on Indian lands. 

The basis for technical examination and environ- 
mental assessment of procedures used in mineral 
exploration and development is provided in 43 
CFR 3041. This regulation provides procedures to 
ensure that adequate measures are taken during ex- 
ploration or surface mining of Federal coal to 
avoid, minimize or correct damages to the environ- 
ment (land, water, and air) and to avoid, minimize 
or correct hazards to public health and safety. Pro- 
cedures for the leasing and subsequent management 
of Federal coal and other minerals are given in 43 
CFR 3500. 

Title 30 CFR Part 211 governs operations for 
discovery, testing, developing, mining, and prepar- 
ing Federal coal under leases and licenses pursuant 
to 43 CFR Part 3500. The purposes of the current 
regulations in Part 211 (May 1976) are to promote 
orderly and efficient operations and production 
practices without waste or avoidable loss of coal or 
other mineral-bearing formation; to encourage 



maximum recovery and use of coal resources; to 
promote operating practices that would avoid, 
minimize, or correct damage to the environment, 
including land, water, and air; to avoid, minimize, 
or correct hazards to public health and safety; and 
to obtain a proper record of all coal produced. 
A division of functions and responsibilities for 
the management of Federal coal between BLM, 
USGS, and OSM has been established (Memoran- 
dum of Understanding, July 5, 1978). This division 
of functions and responsibilities is as follows: 

BLM 

The Bureau of Land Management establishes the 
criteria for determining if an area of Federal land is 
not suitable for certain types of mining operations 
or for mineral leasing (Section 522b of the 
SMCRA of 1977). The Bureau designates areas of 
critical environmental concern, prepares appropri- 
ate land use plans (Sections 201 and 202 of 
FLPMA), and reviews petitions for or initiates the 
designation of Federal lands as unsuitable for 
mining. It prepares regional EIS's or site specific 
prelease EAR's or EIS's concerning lease tract se- 
lection, in accordance with Section 102(2)(C) of 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
U.S.C. 4321) (NEPA). BLM prepares special lease 
terms for environmental performance standards, 
acts as the official representative of the Secretary 
of the Interior in dealing with lease applicants, and 
consults with surface owners concerning lease tract 
proposals, in accordance with Section 714 of 
SMCRA. BLM recommends and issues special re- 
quirements for the protection of natural resources 
and post-mining land use. The Bureau is responsi- 
ble for all non-leasee activity on leased land prior 
to mining operations and for all functions outside 
the area of operations. It checks on compliance 
with the protection of natural resources and post- 
mining land use, and releases the performance bond 
when all mining and reclamation requirements of 
the lease and approved mining plan have been met. 

USGS 

The Survey evaluates coal resources and pre- 
pares recommendations on development plans in 
connection with coal leases. 

It is responsible for seeing that the maximum 
economic recovery of the Federal coal resource is 
a reality and that the Federal Government receives 
full compensation for the coal resource. USGS de- 
lineates the area of operations (AO) on coal leases 
and the approved surface use areas within the AO 
until a mining plan is received and OSM assumes 
this responsibility. USGS also assures compliance 
with production requirements during mining oper- 
ations and upon abandonment jointly inspects lease 



III-3 



Regional Analysis 

areas for compliance and coal resource require- 
ments. 

OSM 

The Office of Surface Mining was set up to 
implement the provisions of SMCRA. OSM is re- 
sponsible for receiving all petitions to have an area 
of Federal land designated as unsuitable for all or 
certain types of surface coal mining operations, or 
petitions to have such designation terminated. This 
office, in consultation with BLM, USGS, and the 
State Regulatory Authority, where applicable, re- 
views and recommends approval or denial of 
mining plans and major modifications of plans to 
the Assistant Secretary of Energy and Minerals. In 
consultation with BLM and USGS, OSM estab- 
lishes the boundaries of the area for the proposed 
mine and approves the locations of all the mine 
facilities within this boundary. It maintains contacts 
with mining companies on their mining plans and 
post-mining land use. 

OSM monitors both on and off-site effects of the 
mining operation. It assures compliance with envi- 
ronmental performance standards, inspection and 
enforcement actions. The office conducts a mini- 
mum of one partial inspection quarterly and at least 
one complete inspection every six months (30 CFR 
721.11(c)). Section 523 of SMCRA requires the 
Federal lands program to adopt all State perform- 
ance standards that are more stringent than Federal 
standards. Therefore, the performance standards 
enforced by OSM on a Federal leasehold will 
always be at least as stringent as those required 
under State law or regulations. The office has pri- 
mary authority to order cessation and immediate 
remedial action in emergency environmental situa- 
tions. Finally, OSM conducts inspections prior to 
abandonment and specifies and approves abandon- 
ment procedures. An additional duty of OSM is 
described in 25 CFR 171.113(h): "With respect to 
coal leases issued on Indian lands after August 3, 
1977, the Secretary shall enforce terms and condi- 
tions... as may be requested by the Indian Tribe in 
such leases." 

BIA 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs exercises the Secre- 
tary of the Interior's Trust responsibilities in 
review and approval of agreements between the 
Navajo Nation and private companies concerning 
development of Indian land. 

Navajo Tribal Environmental Protection 

Commission 

The Commission was established in 1972 by the 
Navajo Tribal Council and has jurisdiction over 
matters relating to the quality of air, water, and 
environment on Tribal lands. It has the power to 



Controls 

issue and enforce regulations, monitor activities, 
issue cease and desist orders, levy and assess fines, 
and to require all leases granted by the Navajo 
Tribe to contain adequate provisions with regard to 
the possible effects of environmental uses on Tribal 
land. 

State Surfacemining Commission 

The New Mexico Coal Surfacemining Commis- 
sion was created by the Coal Surfacemining Act of 
1972. The commission administers the Surfacemin- 
ing Act, including the setting of standards for 
mining plans, the procedures for mining plan sub- 
mission, approval and amendment, and the proce- 
dures for permitting and bonding. The commission 
approves or disapproves mining plans. The OSM 
reviews the mining and reclamation plans and pro- 
vides concurrence with the New Mexico Coal Sur- 
facemining Commission. The commission issues the 
necessary permits and licenses to mine after the 
plan is approved. The commission is responsible for 
developing reasonable regulations covering the 
productive reclamation of stripmined land, includ- 
ing grading and revegetation. Further, the commis- 
sion develops facts and makes studies on the effects 
of stripmining in New Mexico. 

LEGAL AND REGULATORY 

FRAMEWORK: ENVIRONMENTAL 
PROTECTION 

The regulations in 43 CFR 3041, and 30 CFR 
211 and 700 are the primary guidelines used to 
ensure environmental protection. However, other 
authorities specifically emphasize the protection of 
various resources in the natural environment that 
would be affected by the proposed actions and by 
potential coal development. The following discus- 
sion of Federal and State environmental legislation 
is organized around specific resources. 

Other Mineral Resources 

Oil and gas leases are coincident with areas of 
potential coal mining on 224,526 acres; leases or 
mining claims for locatable minerals (e.g. uranium) 
overlap areas of potential coal mining on 45,982 
acres. Conflicts in mineral resource development 
might occur in these areas. 

However, the Multiple-Mineral Development 
Act of 1954 (30 U.S.C. 521 et seq.) provides that, 
'Where the same lands are being utilized for mining 
operations and Leasing Act operations, each of 
such operations shall be conducted, so far as rea- 
sonably practicable, in a manner compatible with 
such multiple use.' (Sec. 6.(a)). Enforcement of this 
provision should hold conflict between coal oper- 
ations and other mineral industry activities to a 
minimum. 



III-4 



Regional Analysis 



Controls 



Moreover, priorities for mining or drilling for 
oil, gas, and uranium on public lands are estab- 
lished by the Conservation Division of the USGS. 
For State lands, these priorities are set by the New 
Mexico Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and 
by the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral 
Resources. 

Finally, mining operations approaching wells or 
boreholes that may liberate oil, gas, water or other 
fluids must be approved in accordance with 30 
CFR 211.17 and 30 CFR 11.63. Significant impacts 
on oil and gas development by other activities can 
be mitigated largely by agreements among opera- 
tors on the siting of facilities and the timing of 
operations. The technology for directional drilling, 
drainage practice, recovery of lost wells, pipeline 
relocation, pillar recovery, and revision of mining 
sequence or method is adequate to mitigate impacts 
which might arise where potentially serious con- 
flicts exist. 

Existing laws, regulations, and resource develop- 
ment technology provide procedures to mitigate 
potential conflicts between coal development and 
other mineral resource activities. 

Paleontology 

FLPMA mandates that the public lands be man- 
aged in a manner that will protect the quality of 
scientific values. A memorandum of understanding 
(MOU) is being developed by the OSM, the 
USGS, and the BLM. Until the MOU is signed, 
individual agency responsibilities will not be fully 
known. Therefore, the procedures will not specifi- 
cally identify agency responsibilities in all cases. 
The draft MOU places responsibility for cultural, 
historical, archeological, and paleontological re- 
sources on the BLM. The BLM is developing tech- 
nical guidelines to define the resource, provide eva- 
luatory criteria, and develop measures for protec- 
tion and mitigation. The provisions of these docu- 
ments will serve as a basis for Federal management 
and protection of paleontological resources. In ad- 
dition, a report has been submitted by the New 
Mexico Paleontology Task Force to the Legislative 
Finance Committee on October 4, 1978, detailing 
options for State management and use of paleonto- 
logical resources. This task force is currently 
studying possible protective measures. Recommen- 
dations will be made and some action on these 
recommendations is anticipated by the Legislature 
in the 1979 session. 

Mitigation requirements of the BLM for paleon- 
tological resources (Washington Office Instruction 
Memorandum 79-111, dated November 29, 1978) 
are as follows: 

"(1.) Mitigation does not need to provide for 

the salvage of all fossil materials, but only for 

those materials needed on a sample basis in order 



to document diversity, variability, geologic and 
stratigraphic distribution, and paleo- 

environment(s). 

Materials of special interest should be collect- 
ed where available in sufficient number to satisfy 
scientific needs, for example, those parts of pre- 
served fossils that provide the most information 
(i.e., skull and dental material of fossil verte- 
brates, complete specimens of mollusks, fruiting 
structures, leaves, and others). An acceptable 
mitigation plan will include sampling recommen- 
dations and steps to mitigate adverse impacts on 
the full spectrum of paleontological resources; 
i.e., vertebrate, invertebrate, and paleobotanical 
specimens. 

(2.) Geologic type sections and major strati- 
graphic reference sections are to be preserved in 
a condition suitable to allow their examination. 
In other areas, a suitable mitigation plan will 
involve leaving manmade exposures to replace 
those disturbed during operation. Exposures thus 
created should be left accessible and should not 
be covered by soil, water, vegetation, or struc- 
tures. 

(3.) Mitigation plans for proposed actions will 
provide for and describe methods of periodic 
and/or continual monitoring to ensure that sig- 
nificant resources are not lost. Materials may be 
collected and observations made for develop- 
ment of salvage plans. 

(4.) The mitigation plan will be coordinated 
with the plan of the proposed action to ensure 
adequate lead time for mitigation(s). The plan 
will specify periodic review of mitigation re- 
quirements during the life of the proposed 
action. Operational conditions and other factors 
which would alter the coordination of the plans 
must be detailed. 

(5.) At periodic intervals, reports will be sub- 
mitted to the Area Mining Supervisor, USGS, or 
OSM, as appropriate, for BLM review and com- 
ment for compliance with the paleontologic re- 
source mitigation plan. These reports should 
review current progress and future plans." 

Air Quality 

The Clean Air Act of 1970 provided the authori- 
ty to establish two sets of air standards. One of 
these standards, known as New Source Perform- 
ance Standards (NSPS), is concerned with emis- 
sions. Emissions from existing sources and from 
new stationary sources are measured against cate- 
gories for which national standards of performance 
have been established. 

The other set of standards is known as National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). On 
April 30, 1971, EPA officially announced the pri- 
mary and secondary NAAQS (Federal Register 



III-5 



Regional Analysis 



Controls 



1971). The primary standards were established to 
protect human health, whereas the secondary 
standards were established to protect the public 
welfare from any known or anticipated adverse 
effects. Standards were put into effect for suspend- 
ed particulate matter, sulfur oxides, nitrogen 
oxides, photochemical oxidants, carbon monoxide, 
and hydrocarbons. 

In 1977, Congress passed the Clean Air Act 
Amendments (42 U.S.C. 1857h-7 et seq.), which 
contain major revisions of the 1970 Act with re- 
spect to: (1) the announcement of a 3-hour (or less) 
primary standard for N0 2 unless there is no signifi- 
cant evidence that such a standard is needed to 
protect public health, (2) the identification of air 
quality control regions within individual states and 
their measurement against NAAQS to determine 
whether these areas should be governed by preven- 
tion of significant deterioration (PSD) standards or 
by nonattainment (NA) requirements, (3) the 
strengthening of enforcement mechanisms for the 
PSD standards and the NA requirements, (4) the 
extension of PSD regulations, by the EPA from 
TSP and S0 2 to other previously unregulated crite- 
ria pollutants, and (5) the NSPS for stationary 
sources. 

The Clean Air Act of 1970, as amended, estab- 
lished primary and secondary ambient air-quality 
standards for six pollutants to protect public health 
and welfare. Primary standards were to be 
achieved by mid- 1975, while secondary standards 
were to be met within a reasonable time thereafter. 
The standards for these six pollutants are listed in 
Appendix Table B-3. In addition, standards to pre- 
vent significant deterioration of present air quality 
have been established by the EPA. Areas are clas- 
sified as Class I, II, or III according to the future 
changes in air quality desirable for the area. Incre- 
mental increases allowable for Class I, II and III 
areas are listed in Appendix Table B-4. It is the 
position of the EPA that each operator would have 
to employ the best management practice for the 
control of fugitive dust during operations, regard- 
less of the predicted concentrations. 

States are allowed to impose standards more 
stringent than the Federal standards. The State of 
New Mexico has added standards for hydrogen 
sulfide, total reduced sulfur, and suspended particu- 
late trace elements (beryllium, asbestos, and com- 
bined total of heavy metals). The special New 
Mexico Air Quality Standards are listed in Appen- 
dix Table B-5. 

Air quality is one of many concerns of the New 
Mexico Environmental Improvement Agency 
(EIA). The EIA was created by the New Mexico 
Environmental Improvement Act of 1971 (NMSA 
12-12 through 14). The EIA has regulatory and 
standard-setting authority in the areas of: air qual- 



ity management as provided in the Air Quality 
Control Act (12-14-1 to 12-14-13); noise control; 
water supply and water pollution as provided in 
the New Mexico Water Quality Act (75-39-1 to 75- 
39-12); liquid and solid waste sanitation, and refuse 
disposal. 

Water Resources 

Applicable legislation and regulations include: 

(1.) Federal Water Pollution Control Act and 
Amendments of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1251-1376); 

(2.) New Mexico Environmental Improvement 
Act of 1971; 

(3.) New Mexico Water Quality Act; 

(4.) New Mexico Sanitary Projects Act. 

The New Mexico Water Quality Control Com- 
mission has adopted a water quality program, regu- 
lations, and standards approved by the EPA. These 
standards are consistent with Section 101(a)(2) of 
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amend- 
ments of 1972. They were adopted by the Water 
Quality Control Commission under authority of 
Paragraph C. Section 75-39-4 of the New Mexico 
Water Quality Act (Chapter 326, Laws of 1973, 
amended) on August 22, 1973, and revised Septem- 
ber 29, 1975, January 13, 1976, February 8, 1977, 
and March 14, 1978. General standards have been 
adopted for all surface waters in New Mexico suit- 
able for recreation and the support of common, 
desirable aquatic life. These standards apply to: (1) 
stream bottom deposits, (2) floating solids, oil and 
gas, (3) color, (4) odor and taste of fish, (5) plant 
nutrients, (6) hazardous substances, (7) radioactiv- 
ity, (8) pathogens, (9) temperature, (1°) turbidity, 
(11) salinity, and (12) dissolved gases. For certain 
stream basins, specific standards have been estab- 
lished for dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, fecal 
coliform, total dissolved solids, sulfates and chlor- 
ides. Specific standards have been established for 
13 constituents of ground water, 9 additional con- 
stituents for domestic water, and 5 more constitu- 
ents for irrigation water. 

The State Engineer of New Mexico is empow- 
ered with general supervision, measurement, appro- 
priation, and distribution of the State waters (Sec- 
tion 75-2-1, New Mexico Statutes Annotated, 1953 
Compilation). Procedures for the apportionment 
and use of surface water are established by Article 
5 of Chapter 75 and ground-water procedures are 
established by Article 11 of Chapter 75. The State 
Engineer's Office is responsible for the safety of all 
State and private dams and for providing guide- 
lines to each county commission for the formula- 
tion of water regulations in subdivisions. 

Any water impoundment of more than 10 acre- 
feet capacity or any dam more than 10 feet high 
requires a permit from the State Engineer of New 
Mexico, under section 75-5-30 of the New Mexico 



III-6 



Regional Analysis 



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Statutes of 1953. Pending decisions by the State 
Engineer, requests for water impoundments cover- 
ing public lands in areas of important cultural 
values and recreation impacts can be granted 
through the authority contained in the Reservoir 
Salvage Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 469-469c), and 
NEPA. 

Water from a planned reservoir covering public 
land surface or mineral estate will be assessed 
under NEPA regulations when used for another 
Federally approved project. Salvage requirements 
will be assessed under the Reservoir Salvage Act. 
If cultural remains are located, any Federal agency 
involved in the project will initiate the 'criteria for 
effect' under Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act and Section 2(b) of Executive 
Order (E.O.) 11593. 

Solid-Waste Disposal 

Applicable regulations include the Solid Waste 
Disposal Act, as amended in 1976 (42 U.S.C. 3251- 
3259). Section 211 of that statute requires ' each 
Federal agency to assure compliance with guide- 
lines promulgated by EPA. Other regulations con- 
cerned with solid-waste disposal are the New 
Mexico Environmental Improvement Act, the New 
Mexico Refuse Collection and Disposal Act, and 
appropriate regulations. 

Fish and Wildlife 

Applicable legislation includes the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543). This 
Act provides protection for listed species of flora 
and fauna and their critical habitat. Prior to author- 
ization of any significant disturbance of lands under 
lease or permit, the Department of the Interior 
requires a survey to determine if listed species or 
their habitat may be present. The U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service must be consulted if it is deter- 
mined that listed species or their habitat are present 
and could be affected by the proposed activities. In 
accordance with 50 CFR 402 (January 4, 1978), no 
activities on the land can be authorized until such 
consultation is completed. The New Mexico State 
Game Commission is responsible for Endangered 
Species and Sub-Species of New Mexico (Regula- 
tion No. 563, as amended May 21, 1976). 

Relevant legislation also includes the Bald Eagle 
Protection Act of 1959 (16 U.S.C. 668-668c). 
Under this law, mining operations and rights-of- 
way would not be permitted in any area where 
such activities would molest or disturb bald or 
golden eagles and their nests. 

Still another controlling legislation is the Fish 
and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958 (16 U.S.C. 
661 -666c). Under this law the U.S. Fish and Wild- 
life Service would be consulted on matters that 
would affect the habitat of any fish or associated 



wildlife resource. In addition, the Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act of July 3, 1918 provides for the protec- 
tion and enhancement of migratory birds through- 
out the U.S. 

Wilderness 

Applicable legislation includes FLPMA (43 
U.S.C. 1712) and Section 522 of SMCRA. 

Sec. 603c of FLPMA requires the Secretary to 
manage lands under wilderness review, in accord- 
ance with his authority under this act and other 
applicable laws, in a manner so as not to impair the 
suitability of such areas for preservation as wilder- 
ness. The Secretary may grant access across public 
land under review for wilderness designation only 
when it would not impair the suitability of the area 
for that designation. Rights-of-way would have to 
be amended to avoid those lands if impairment was 
to occur. 

Under Section 522(d)(1) of SMCRA, Federal 
lands shall be considered unsuitable for coal mining 
while under review by the Administration and 
Congress for possible wilderness designation. 

Cultural Resources 

Applicable legislation includes: 

(1.) Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431-433); 

(2.) Historic Site Act of 1935 (16 U.S.C. 461- 
467); 

(3.) Reservoir Salvage Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 
469); 

(4.) Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 
470); 

(5.) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); 

(6.) Executive Order 11593; 

(7.) Historic and Archeological Data Preserva- 
tion Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 49); 

(8.) Federal Lands Policy and Management of 
1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701-1771); and 

(9.) New Mexico Cultural Properties Act, as 
amended, of 1969, Article 27, Section 4-27-1-18. 

Both Federal and State antiquities acts regulate 
antiquities excavation and collection, and both pro- 
tect historical values on public, Indian Trust, and 
State lands. They provide for fines and imprison- 
ment for violations of their provisions. The Histor- 
ic Preservation Act and EO 11593 require that 
Federal undertakings affecting sites on or eligible 
for the National Register must be submitted for 
review by the National Advisory Council on His- 
toric Preservation. 

EO 11593 requires all Federal agencies to coop- 
erate with nonfederal agencies, groups, and individ- 
uals. This cooperation ensures that Federal plans 
and programs contribute to the preservation and 
enhancement of nonfederally owned sites of histor- 
ic and cultural values. In order that site protection 



III-7 



Regional Analysis 



Controls 



by the government be uniform and efficient with 
regard to mineral recovery, cooperation has been 
established between the BLM and the USGS. 

No plans to mine federal coal or otherwise dis- 
turb federal lands will be approved until all sites 
within the impact area have been identified by ar- 
cheologists, their significance evaluated in consulta- 
tion with the State Historic Preservation Officer, 
and mitigation plans established. 

LAND-USE LEGISLATION AND 
PLANNING 

Federal 

Comprehensive land-use planning for public 
lands is required by FLPMA. The concept of mul- 
tiple resources management is fundamental to the 
BLM's planning system for public lands. The BLM 
uses resource data from a combination of adminis- 
trative and geographical planning units to develop 
management framework plans (MFPs). An MFP is 
a planning document that establishes coordinated 
land-use allocations for all resources, as well as 
objectives and constraints for each resource and 
support activity. The ES Region is comprised of 
three planning units: the San Juan, the Chaco, and 
the Rio Puerco Planning Units. The MFPs for 
these planning units are the responsibility of the 
appropriate BLM Resource Area Manager, with 
final approval by the Albuquerque District Man- 
ager and the New Mexico State Director. 

The FCLAA requires that coal leasing and 
mining must be compatible with land-use planning 
within all public land areas. Under the FCLAA, 
coal leases cannot be issued unless compatible with 
such plans. In its land-use planning process, BLM 
would identify coal resources in the planning units. 
These coal resources would then be considered in 
the multiple-use planning analysis to determine any 
conflicts with other resources. After this planning 
analysis, which would include public comment and 
review, the final MFP decision would identify 
areas suitable for coal development subject to envi- 
ronmental assessment and the national coal leasing 
policy constraints and guidelines. 

MFPs were completed for the Rio Puerco Plan- 
ning Unit on 6-19-72, the San Juan Planning Unit 
on 6-24-74, and the Chaco Planning Unit on 5-20- 
75. The Albuquerque District Office will update 
the MFPs for the San Juan and Chaco Planning 
Units prior to the proposed 1980 coal-leasing 
schedules. No long-term coal leases can be issued 
until all requirements of the Federal Coal Leasing 
Amendments Act of 1975 have been addressed in 
the MFPs. Updating of the MFP for the Rio 
Puerco Planning Unit will follow. 



State 

Several New Mexico agencies, such as the New 
Mexico State Land Office, have development and 
administrative authority over State lands. The Min- 
erals Division of the State Land Office is in charge 
of leasing mineral rights, excluding oil and gas, on 
State trust lands. The State Engineer has jurisdic- 
tion over all the surface waters of the State and 
subsurface water resources in declared water 
basins. New Mexico also retains total jurisdiction 
over nonpublic and privately owned lands except 
where controls have specifically been delegated by 
statute to counties or municipalities. 

Under the 1889 Ferguson Act, Sections 16 and 
36 in each township were given to the New 
Mexico Territory for school use. The Enabling Act 
of 1910 gave the State Sections 2 and 32 in each 
township for school purposes. Use and control of 
these lands, including mineral leasing and rights-of- 
way, is governed by New Mexico law. 

County and Local 

Counties and local communities have such basic 
land-use powers as zoning and subdivision regula- 
tion. No county zoning is in effect in the ES 
Region. Mandated by the New Mexico State Sub- 
division Act of 1973, subdivision regulations are in 
effect in each county, although they are not always 
applied to mobile home parks. These regulations 
are administered by each county commission. Mc- 
Kinley County has developed a county plan defin- 
ing current and future growth patterns. The Mc- 
Kinley Area Council of Governments developed a 
land-use policy statement to serve as a general 
guide, with no provision for enforcement. San Juan 
County has a similar land-use policy statement. 

The State of New Mexico has granted each city 
platting and planning jurisdiction up to a three-mile 
limit from its boundaries. This jurisdiction extends 
to a five-mile limit for a city with a population 
greater than 25,000. 

Farmington adopted a Master Plan in 1968 and a 
Future Land-Use Plan in 1976. These plans are 
enforced through zoning and subdivision regula- 
tions adopted by the City and administered by a 
planning department and staff. 

Aztec adopted a comprehensive plan in 1963 that 
is now outdated. Requests have been made to both 
the Farmers Home Administration (FHA) and the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development 
(HUD) for grants to revise and update this plan. In 
addition, subdivision regulations and outdated 
zoning ordinances are to be revised. 

Bloomfield has no comprehensive plan, but has 
applied to the FHA for a grant to dc-elop one. 
Bloomfield's zoning ordinance was updated in 
1978, but has not yet been accepted by the city. 



III-8 



Regional Analysis 



Controls 



Subdivision regulations exist, but are now outdated 
and in need of revision. 

The Village of Cuba has basic zoning and subdi- 
vision jurisdiction over all areas within its corpo- 
rate boundaries. The community does not have 
zoning regulations, but subdivision regulations 
were updated in 1978. Aided by the Middle Rio 
Grande Council of Governments, Cuba adopted a 
Development Statement, but the village does not 
have a comprehensive plan. 

The City of Grants has no umbrella-type com- 
prehensive plan, but does have a number of smaller 
plans (water, utilities, highway and street) which 
serve a similar purpose. A request for funding to 
the FHA is being prepared to develop a single 
comprehensive land-use plan for Grants. The 
zoning regulations in Grants, adopted in 1959, are 
in need of updating. Subdivision regulations were 
revised in 1978, but have not been adopted by the 
city. 

The Village of Milan has no comprehensive plan, 
but does enforce zoning and subdivision regula- 
tions. 

While the State retains statutory authority to 
effect controls over mineral extraction or produc- 
tion within community corporate limits, communi- 
ties have authority to adopt a land-use plan and to 
implement the plan through such instruments as 
zoning and subdivision regulations. Although all 
the major population centers in the region have not 
yet adopted effective land-use plans, zoning and 
subdivision regulations, or other land-use controls, 
steps are being taken to adopt and update such 
controls as they are needed. 

SUMMARY OF INSTITUTIONAL 
RELATIONSHIPS 

A large number of jurisdictional entities in the 
ES Region exercise various land and resource-use 
controls. These entities include the National Park 
Service (Aztec Ruins, Chaco Canyon, and El 
Morro National Monuments), the Bureau of Recla- 
mation (withdrawn lands in San Juan County), the 
Forest Service (Cibola National Forest), the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs (lands withdrawn for 
Indian purposes and Indian trust lands), the De- 
partment of the Army (Ft. Wingate Army Depot), 
and the Bureau of Land Management (public lands 
and mineral estate under private, Indian and State 
lands). 



Development, management, use, and control of 
use on Federal lands has been delegated to these 
agencies. Controls are effected through issuance or 
non-issuance of a variety of leases, permits, li- 
censes, etc. Each authorization to use Federal lands 
contains provisions to control that use. Controls 
exercised by the Federal Government for the sub- 
surface estate are governed by the statutes autho- 
rizing the disposition and use of that estate. Fore- 
most among these statutes is the authority to lease 
coal deposits and the authority to require, as a 
condition of such leases, an operation-management 
plan and a reclamation-restoration plan. Manage- 
ment policy has been extended in greater detail by 
the NEPA and FLPMA. 

The subsurface estate vested in private, State or 
Indian ownership (Navajo Tribal Fee Lands) nor- 
mally is governed by applicable New Mexico State 
statutes. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has proce- 
dures for regulating residential and commercial 
uses in the off-reservation lands under its adminis- 
tration. These off-reservation lands include all 
lands withdrawn for Indian purposes and retained 
in government ownership, and Indian allotments 
and homesteads held in trust by the United States 
for the benefit of individual Indians. 

Land-use planning for the checkerboard land- 
ownership pattern is important in the ES Region. 
In some places this checkerboard area extends 40 
miles or more on each side of the Santa Fe Rail- 
road mainline, with alternate sections in private, 
Indian or governmental (Federal or State) owner- 
ship. Successful implementation of any land-use 
plans must involve mutual consent by the owners 
in this area. The development of logical mining 
plans in the checkerboard area is complex for min- 
erals, like coal, that involve large tracts of lands. 
Cooperation of all parties is necessary to avoid 
resource waste and environmental degradation. 



III-9 



CHAPTER IV 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED 
ACTIONS 



THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES THE CUMULATIVE IMPACTS OF THE 
PROPOSED ACTIONS PRIOR TO APPLICATION OF ANY MITIGATING 
MEASURES. WHERE DATA ARE AVAILABLE, IMPACTS ARE LINKED 
TO SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE PROPOSED ACTIONS AND ARE 
QUANTIFIED AS TO MAGNITUDE, INTENISTY, DURATION, AND 
INCIDENCE. 



CHAPTER IV 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 



GEOLOGIC SETTING 

Topography 

The topography of about 12,880 acres would be 
altered by 1980, 19,580 by 1985, and 28,000 by 
1990 (of which an estimated 17,950 acres would be 
directly disturbed as a result of the proposed 
action). Of this, about 3,044 acres would be 
stripped in mining operations by 1980, 8,904 by 
1985, and 16,291 by 1990. After completion of 
mining, the stripped land would be returned to the 
approximate original contour. Removal of coal 
tends to lower the average elevation, but "bulking" 
of the stripped and replaced overburden tends to 
raise it. The final change depends upon the thick- 
ness of coal removed, the depth of the overburden 
and the bulking factor of the overburden material. 

This bulking factor has not been determined for 
the overburden material present in the mine areas, 
but 40 percent may be typical. This is based upon 
swell factors given in C. E. Killebrew, 1968, Table 
8.3-1., where a 33-percent swell factor for clay or 
shale and 50 percent for sandstone was given. As 
the overburden for the mines in this area is pre- 
dominantly shale with minor sandstone beds, 40 
percent is considered reasonable. The typical strip 
mine proposed for this area would mine to a depth 
of 150 feet. Using an average depth of overburden 
of 75 feet and multiplying by a swell factor of 40 
percent gives an average elevation rise of 30 feet 
over the mined area owing to swell of the overbur- 
den. The net change in elevation is the thickness of 
the coal removed, subtracted from this figure. If 10 
feet is used as the average coal thickness mined, 
the average elevation increase of the mined area 
would be 20 feet. Compaction after mining is cal- 
culated to be on the order of 1 foot. (See U.S. 
Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 93-76, p. 45.) 

Construction of the railroad would alter the to- 
pography of a narrow band 114-miles long, and 
would disturb about 2,850 acres; construction of 
the 230-kv powerline would disturb about 310 
acres, and construction of a powerplant would dis- 
turb about 1,920 acres. The remainder of the alter- 
ation would be from leveling of sites for construc- 
tion of facilities and for community development. 
The highwalls in the strip mines would be regraded 



after mining is completed. This would leave a no- 
ticeable topographic feature in some places. 

Stratigraphy 

An estimated 28,000 acres would be disturbed in 
the region by 1990. Of these, about 17,950 acres 
would have been disturbed as a direct result of the 
proposed actions and related developments. Most 
of the disturbance would be to the Crevasse 
Canyon, Menefee, and Fruitland Formations as a 
result of strip mining. Because the amount dis- 
turbed of any formation is so small compared to its 
extent in the ES Region, the impact of this disturb- 
ance would be low to negligible. Some new expo- 
sures may become available for observation. 

Geologic Hazards 

The highwall created during mining would pro- 
vide opportunity for rockfalls and slides, and for 
ignition of exposed coal. Slopes in cuts along the 
railroad could create conditions favorable for 
slumping or rock falls. 

Any underground mines could alter the topogra- 
phy if subsidence and Assuring were to occur. The 
amount of subsidence over a mined-out opening 
depends upon the thickness of the bed removed, 
the depth of the overburden, and the width of the 
mine panel (underground opening being mined at 
one time) (Dunrud, 1976a, fig. 5). Two areas being 
considered for underground mining are the San 
Juan and La Ventana Mines (see map 1-4). The 
total area subject to subsidence by the year 1990 is 
not known, but is estimated at less than 3,000 acres. 

Paleontology 

Direct impacts from bedrock disturbance due to 
the proposed actions and secondary impacts from 
coal mining (overburden removed and surface con- 
struction) are difficult to quantify. Considering the 
regional surface and subsurface extent of the strata, 
a very small amount of potential fossil-bearing 
rocks would be disturbed. However, localized im- 
pacts would be severe as they would constitute 
destruction of fossil materials and removal of mate- 
rials from their contextual relationships. Surveys 
for paleontological resources by Froelich et al. 
(1976), Froelich and Kues (1977), Kues, et al., 
(1977), LeMone and Harris (1977), and LeMone 



IV-1 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



(1977) have provided the baseline from which im- 
pacts have been estimated. 

Several factors may modify the findings of these 
surveys. It is strongly suspected that collection of 
fossil materials, both authorized and unauthorized, 
has far exceeded the rate at which weathering and 
other natural processes expose new fossils. As a 
result, the materials available for surface surveys 
may not be indicative of the subsurface resource. 
Surveyed areas considered remote and uncollected 
have produced diversity, fossil numbers and quality 
of preservation not displayed in areas more easily 
accessible. Differential weathering of strata tends 
to create exposures rich in less easily eroded mate- 
rial such as sandstone. Locating fossil materials in 
shale sections is hampered by the swelling of clays 
within these shales which breaks fragile fossil mate- 
rials, such as plant compression fossils and some 
invertebrates, so that no observable fossil material 
is present on the surface. Surface surveys are fur- 
ther limited because they cannot evaluate «areas 
covered with alluvium or soil. 

Table IV- 1 summarizes paleorttological data for 
the two geologic units in which coal mining is 
expected. 

Table IV-2 shows the number of localities esti- 
mated to be impacted for which mitigation may be 
necessary. These figures are based upon the esti- 
mated number of localities on the surface. For deep 
disturbance activities (i.e., strip mining), each 15 
vertical feet of disturbance is taken as a new sur- 
face; thus 150 feet of overburden removal would 
produce 10 times the magnitude of impact attribut- 
able to surface activities located within the same 
formation. Impacts are based upon an average 100 
feet of overburden removed for the entire mine. 

Activities affecting only surface resources would 
probably affect paleontological resources in 25 per- 
cent of the acreage involved. The remainder of the 
acreage is expected to be covered intervals in 
which fossil materials would not occur. 

Impacts on fossil materials due to underground 
mining as a result of the proposed action are ex- 
pected to be negligible before 1990. 

Even if only half the localities identified in Table 
IV-2 were mitigated with minimal collection of 
fossil materials, there would be a substantial need 
for repository space. A number of the impacted 
localities are anticipated to contain dinosaur fossils, 
which require substantial storage space. It is esti- 
mated that about 20,000 square feet of repository 
would be needed by 1990. 

Reclamation of lands exposed or disturbed 
during mining would limit the time exposures are 
available for continued fossil yields, reevaluation of 
sedimentation and paleoenvironment, and mainte- 
nance of reference sections for future study. 



Indirect impacts due to unauthorized removal of 
fossil materials, primarily due to rockhounding and 
vandalism, are expected to increase. This is antici- 
pated to be a major problem for land managing 
agencies in the surrounding area. Some benefit may 
be realized from increased fossil resource discover- 
ies resulting from surveys and construction, there- 
by making them available for scientific use. 

Mineral Resources 

Conflicts may occur between development of 
coal and development of oil and gas, and to a 
lesser extent, uranium. Conflicts with oil and gas 
rarely if ever would be in the occurrence of re- 
sources at the same horizon; they would be due to 
the superimposed occurrence of coal near the sur- 
face, and oil and gas at depth. 

Map B shows the general distribution of minable 
coal and known oil and gas fields. The potential for 
oil and gas is not limited to known fields, however, 
and exploration might be proposed in areas under- 
lain by minable coal. Because these resources nor- 
mally can be recovered sequentially without nota- 
ble increase in environmental impacts, the impacts 
of coal vs. oil and gas conflicts would be insignifi- 
cant in a regional sense. 

Potential conflicts between coal and uranium are 
not known at this time. Chances are low that 
mining for one resource would jeopardize future 
mining for the other. 

Lands dedicated to ancillary facilities for coal- 
related development would not be available for 
mineral exploration and possible future develop- 
ment while such facilities are in place. Additional 
lands being actively mined or reclaimed likewise 
would be unavailable. By 1990, about 28,000 acres 
(0.6 percent of the ES Region) would be unavail- 
able for mineral industry activities except coal-re- 
lated development, of which 17,950 acres would be 
unavailable due to the proposed actions. Coal de- 
velopment might delay recovery of other undiscov- 
ered mineral resources, depending on their mode of 
occurrence, but it would not preclude or diminish 
their ultimate production. 

Elements of the proposed actions would have a 
substantial beneficial impact on the minerals indus- 
try. The proposed Star Lake Railroad and the 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line would pro- 
vide an efficient, economical way to move coal 
resources to markets and a source of power needed 
to develop the coal resources of the region. More- 
over, the railroad and the power line also would 
have a potential beneficial impact on other mineral 
industry activities in the region. 

Mining of 288 million tons of coal from the ES 
Region through 1990, projected as the mid-level of 
production, and the 58 million that would be lost in 
the process, would reduce reserves by 346 million 



IV-2 



Table rv-l 
FOSSIL OCCURRENCE IN THE MAJOR COAL-BEARING UNITS 



Mesa Verde Group 



Fruit land/Klrtland 



Percentage of unit 
exposed 

Surface localities per section 
of exposure 

Surface localities for which 
mitigation would be necessary 
per section of disturbance to 
a depth of 10 feet (BLM Estimate) 



22 
2.l!/ 



26 



7.1 



y Based on surveys taken on sandstone-biased areas. Shale sequences are 
locally known to be more fossiliferous, thus accounting for the increased 
BLM estimate of impacted fossil localities. 

Table 17-2 

ESTIMATED V NUMBER OF FOSSIL LOCALITIES REQUIRING 
MITIGATION AS A RESULT OF COAL DEVELOPMENT 





1980 


1985 


1990 


Existing Coal Development 


260 - 320 


450 - 490 


600 - 680 


Probable Additional Development 








2/ 
Deep Disturbance— (Mining) 








Fruitland Coal 


75 - 115 


220 - 340 


470 - 670 


Mesa Verde Coal 


2-4 


20 - 40 


35 - 65 


Related Surface Disturbance 








Santa Fe Railroad 


10 - 14 


10 - 14 


10 - 14 


Fruitland Coal Load 


2-4 


2-5 


2 - 5 


Other Disturbance 


25 - 35 


27 - 37 


32 - 42 


Total 


374 - 492 


729 - 926 


1,1^9 - 1,476 



-^BLM Estimate. Indirect impacts (i.e. rockhounding) are not Included. 
=1 Disturbance involving 10 T or more of bedrock disturbance. These impacts 
are primarily a result of mining. 



IV-3 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



tons. Subsequent consumption of most of this coal 
to generate electric power would tend to reduce 
the demand for (and dependence on) alternate fuels 
such as petroleum or natural gas from domestic 
and foreign sources. (One ton of this coal, as 
mined, yields energy equivalent to about 2.7 barrels 
of oil or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas.) 

AIR QUALITY 

Air quality impacts caused by the proposed ac- 
tions and related activities in the ES Region are 
discussed assuming a normal (or average) level of 
control. These controls include a normal precipita- 
tion pattern over the region as well as no new coal 
fires. If existing fires contribute to ambient concen- 
trations of total suspended particulates (TSP), they 
are already accounted for in the baseline TSP con- 
centrations. Pollutant emissions were estimated for 
surface mines, underground mines, power plants, 
and towns. 

The impacts on the ambient TSP, sulfur dioxide 
(SOs) and nitrogen dioxide (N0 2 ) concentrations 
are examined for the years 1980, 1985, and 1990. 
The predicted pollutant concentrations are com- 
pared to the national and New Mexico ambient air 
quality standards and to the increments for preven- 
tion of significant deterioration of air quality 
(PSD). 

Emissions 

Coal mines would be the major contributors of 
particulate emissions in the region (Table IV-3). 
Fugitive dust emissions result from a number of 
activities within mines, including blasting, coal and 
overburden loading and dumping, haul road and 
access road traffic, and wind erosion of exposed 
areas. For these operations, emission factors from 
the documents prepared by PEDCo Environmen- 
tal, Inc. (1978), and Cowherd, et al. (1974) were 
used to relate the activity to fugitive dust emis- 
sions. 

Small amounts of hydrocarbons, carbon monox- 
ide, and oxides of nitrogen are released from vehi- 
cles, steam generators, and other combustion 
sources within coal mines. Because of the small 
quantities emitted, the effects on surrounding air 
quality are expected to be insignificant (U.S. De- 
partment of Interior, 1976). 

Three power plants, Four Corners, San Juan, 
and New Mexico Generating Station (Tables IV-4 
and 4a) would emit particulates, S0 2 , and N0 2 . 
Emission parameters for the Four Corners station 
were taken from the New Mexico Environmental 
Improvement Division's file. The Public Service 
Company of New Mexico provided emission and 
stack parameters for the New Mexico Generating 
Station (NMGS). Emission parameters for the San 



Juan station were extracted from an environmental 
statement on file at the BLM office in Albuquerque 
(U.S. Department of Interior, 1977). 

Other developments in the region include con- 
struction of the SLR and the FCL. Gaseous emis- 
sions from combustion sources such as gasoline- 
and diesel-powered vehicles and equipment, and 
intermittent fugitive dust emissions would result 
from site preparation activities such as blasting, 
grading, and earth moving. These emissions would 
not impact the regional air quality because they 
would be temporary, intermittent, and confined to 
a small area. 

Emissions from operation of the Star Lake Rail- 
road are presented in the Site Specific Analysis of 
the Star Lake Railroad. These emissions are pri- 
marily combustion emissions from the diesel en- 
gines and would be intermittent and confined to 
narrow corridors following the line. Thus, they 
would have little effect on regional air quality. 
Once construction is completed, fugitive emissions 
from the railroad right-of-way would have a negli- 
gible impact on the regional TSP air concentra- 
tions. Therefore, they were not modeled for the air 
quality impact analysis. 

The towns of Grants, Gallup, Crownpoint, Far- 
mington, Aztec, and Bloomfield are anticipated to 
impact regional air quality for TSP, S0 2 , and N0 2 
(Table IV-5). Current emissions for these pollutants 
were obtained from the National Emissions Data 
System (NEDS) Inventory for 1977 (U.S. Environ- 
mental Protection Agency, 1977a). The total pol- 
lutant emissions of McKinley and San Juan Coun- 
ties were apportioned to the five towns based on 
the percentage of the county's population in each 
town. The 1980, 1985, and 1990 emissions from the 
towns were forecast to increase in direct propor- 
tion to projected growth of their populations be- 
tween 1978 and the reference year. 

The air quality impact of vehicle emissions from 
major roads in the region would be highly variable, 
intermittent, and generally confined to the immedi- 
ate vicinity of the roads. Hence, the vehicular 
emissions were not included in the dispersion mod- 
eling. 

Modeling Procedures 

The annual average S0 2 , N0 2 , and TSP concen- 
trations were predicted with a model based on the 
steady-state Gaussian dispersion equation presented 
in the Workbook of Atmospheric Diffusion Estimates 
(Turner, 1972). Statistical meteorological data con- 
structed from observations taken at the National 
Weather Service offices in Farmington (1959-1967) 
and Gallup (1973-1975) were input to the annual 
dispersion model. The pollutant concentrations 
were computed for grid points (receptors) overly- 
ing the affected areas of the region. 



IV-4 



Table IV- 3 
ESTIMATED PARTICULATE EMISSIONS FROM MINES IN THE ES REGION 



Mine 1980 1985 1990 
(tons per year) 

Without Proposed Action 

Amcoal 
Arroyo No. 1 
Gamerco 
McKinley 
San Juan 
La Ventana 

With Proposed Action 

Bisti 
Star Lake 
South Hospah 
Alamito 



632 


632 


— 


316 


388 


- 


1,140 


1,098 


- 


2,770 


2,700 


2,912 


1,067 


l,l4l 


1,030 


376 


942 


942 


959 


1,489 


2,976 


789 


1,681 


2,489 


675 


1,336 


1,345 




2,516 


2,539 



Source: Radian Corp., 1978 



IV-5 



Table 1V-4 
ESTIMATED EMISSIONS FROM GENERATING STATIONS IN THE ES REGION 







Emissions 






TSP 


S0 2 

(tons per year) 


N0 X 


1980 








San Juan 
Four Corners 


500 
34,340 


15,330 
137,770 


27,300 
88,660 


1985 








San Juan 
Four Corners 
NMGS 


830 

4,760 

956 


23,215 
49,350 

5,741 


37,730 
66,685 

8,600 


1990 








San Juan 
Four Corners 
NMGS 


830 
4,760 
2,868 


23,215 
49,350 
17,223 


37,730 

66,685 

25,800 



Source : Radian Corp . , 1978 



IV -6 



Table IV - 4a 

MAXIMUM SHORT-TERM CONCENTRATIONS l/\ ug/m3 ) PREDICTED AROUND GENERATING STATIONS 
COMPARED TO NATIONAL AND NEW MEXICO AMBIENT AIR STANDARDS 



< 







Averaging 








National 


Standards 


New Mexico 




Power Plant 


Pollutant 


Period 


1980 


1985 


1990 


Primary 


Secondary 


Standards 




Pour Corners 


so 2 


2 4 -hour 


416 


137 


137 


365 


- 


216 








3 -hour 


1768 


610 


610 


- 


1300 


- 






TSP 


24-hour 


264 


200 


200 


260 


150 


150 








1-hour 


899 


474 


474 


- 


- 


- 






N0 2 


24-hour 


293 


186 


186 


- 


- 


200 




San Juan 


so 2 


24-hour 


37 


53 


53 


365 


- 


216 








3-hour 


181 


270 


270 


- 


1300 


- 






TSP 


24-hour 


188 


189 


189 


260 


150 


150 








1-hour 


407 


413 


413 


- 


- 


- 






N0 2 


24-hour 


135 


152 


152 


- 


- 


200 




New Mexico Generat 


ing SOp 


24-hour 


„_ 


16 


50 


365 


_ 


216 




Station 






















3-hour 


- 


86 


257 


- 


1300 


- 






TSP 


24-hour 


- 


87 


92 


260 


150 


150 








1-hour 


- 


201 


244 


- 


- 


- 






N0 2 


24-hour 


- 


22 


65 


- 


- 


200 





Source: Radian Corp., 1978. 



1/. 



Including background 



Table IV- 5 
ESTIMATED EMISSIONS FROM MAJOR TOWNS IN THE ES REGION 



TSP 



Emissions 
SO2 NOx 
(tons per year) 



1980 



Aztec 


68 


Bloomfield 


32 


Crownpoint 


46 


Farmlngton 


380 


Gallup 


177 


Grants 


116 


1985 




Aztec 


79 


Bloomfield 


36 


Crownpoint 


50 


Farmlngton 


413 


Gallup 


193 


Grants 


131 


1990 




Aztec 


96 


Bloomfield 


42 


Crownpoint 


58 


Farmington 


454 


Gallup 


218 


Grants 


152 


Source: Radian Corp 


, 1978 



37 
18 

23 
212 

92 

60 



43 
20 
25 
230 
100 
69 



53 

23 

30 

253 

112 

79 



470 

220 

415 

2,613 

1,600 

1,051 



540 

247 

453 

2,850 

1,757 

1,199 



667 
293 
522 

3,144 
1,976 
1,378 



IV-8 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



The 24-hour and 3-hour pollutant TSP, N0 2 , and 
S0 2 concentrations near the towns and the existing 
and proposed mines were estimated from predicted 
annual concentrations using Larsen statistics 
(Larsen, 1971). All emissions of sulfur oxides were 
assumed to be sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ). All nitrogen 
oxides were assumed to be converted to nitrogen 
dioxide (N0 2 ). 

The short-term concentrations for the three 
power plants were predicted using EPA's single 
source CRSTER model. CRSTER is described in 
the Interim Guideline on Air Quality Models 
(EPA, 1977b). 

Resultant Regional Air Quality 

The impact of the proposed action on ambient 
TSP, S0 2 , and NO2 concentrations was assessed 
for the years 1980, 1985, and 1990. Coal mines with 
a potential to emit more than 250 tons per year of 
uncontrolled particulates would be required to 
obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration 
(PSD) permit from the U.S. Environmental Protec- 
tion Agency (EPA). To obtain a PSD permit from 
EPA, the applicant must show that best manage- 
ment practices will be used to control fugitive dust. 
The applicant must select practices and controls 
that are suitable to the mining operation and also 
acceptable to EPA. Possible controls are listed in 
Table IV-6. 

Under the new PSD regulations, fugitive dust 
from transporting and handling soil at surface 
mines is omitted or exempt from ambient impact 
reviews. Particulate emissions from "non-exempt" 
sources such as coal extraction and handling and 
from industrial process units are typically less than 
15 percent of the total emission from a mine. 
Annual ambient TSP concentrations predicted as a 
result of modeling all particulate emissions seldom 
exceed 5 /xg/m 3 above baseline concentrations at 
distances greater than 3 miles from mining activi- 
ties. Therefore, particulate levels from the "non- 
exempt" sources would be less than 1 /xg/m 3 at 
these distances with no impact on PSD Class II 
increments. 

Maximum 24-hour concentrations more than 2 to 
3 miles from most mining activities would be less 
than 20 /xg/m 3 above baseline concentrations. 
Hence, none of the mines would be expected to 
exceed the Class II increments under the new 
review procedure because 85 percent of the TSP 
concentration would be due to fugitive dust. Mesa 
Verde National Park and Bandelier and San Pedro 
Parks Wilderness Areas are the nearest Class I 
areas. The latter is 10 miles from the nearest 
mining activity. Increases in TSP concentrations 
this far from a mining source would not be expect- 
ed to exceed Class I increments. 



Emissions of pollutants from railroad and trans- 
mission line construction would be gaseous emis- 
sions from engines and fugitive dust created by 
vehicular traffic and construction equipment. These 
emissions would be small, intermittent, and local- 
ized, and would have no noticeable impact on the 
regional air quality. 

By 1980, the Bisti, South Hospah, and Star Lake 
Mines would have begun operation. Annual TSP 
concentrations around the South Hospah and Star 
Lake Mines would drop to less than 26 /xg/m 3 
three miles from mining activities. Worst-case 24- 
hour concentrations at this distance would be 88 
/xg/m 3 . The Bisti Mine would be located in an area 
of higher background TSP concentrations. TSP 
emissions from this mine would have very little 
effect on the annual average TSP concentrations in 
the vicinity in 1980, and would produce an estimat- 
ed 24-hour maximum TSP concentration of 103 
fig/m 3 three miles from the mining activity. Maps 
IV- 1, IV-2, and IV-3 illustrate the annual TSP, 
S0 2 , and NO2 concentrations predicted for 1980. 

A maximum annual TSP concentration of 65 u.g/ 
m 3 and a 24-hour concentration of 221 /xg/m 3 
would occur over a 3 by 5 mile area around Far- 
mington. Both would violate New Mexico ambient 
air quality standards. A two-mile-diameter area 
around the San Juan mine would have an annual 
TSP concentration of 60 /xg/m 3 and a maximum 
24-hour concentration of 204 u.g/m 3 . These would 
also violate New Mexico standards. 

In 1980, the national and New Mexico annual 
standards for SO2 and N0 2 would not be violated 
as a result of the proposed action and related de- 
velopments. However, interacting emissions of 
these pollutants from Farmington, and the Four 
Corners and San Juan Generating Stations would 
cause the New Mexico 24-hour standards for both 
S0 2 and NO2 to be violated in an area southwest of 
the Four Corners Generating Station. 

By 1985, the New Mexico Generating Station 
and the Alamito mine would be in operation, the 
capacity of the San Juan Generating Station would 
have increased, emission controls would have been 
implemented at the Four Corners Generating Sta- 
tion, and production rates would have increased 
from the Bisti, South Hospah, and Star Lake 
Mines. The resulting concentrations of TSP, S0 2 
and N0 2 for 1985 are illustrated by Maps IV-4, IV- 
5, and IV-6. 

By 1985, the concentration of TSP in the north- 
western portion of the ES Region would be less 
than in 1980. However, the annual TSP concentra- 
tion over a 9 by 4 mile area near Farmington and a 
small area near the San Juan Mine would be 60 
/xg/m 3 . A maximum 24-hour concentration of 204 
/xg/m 3 would occur in these areas. Both would 
violate New Mexico's standards. 



IV-9 



Table 17-6 

POSSIBLE CONTROLS AND MANAGEMENT PPACTICES FOR 
MITIGATING FUGITIVE DUST FROM COAL MINES 



Activity 



Control or Practices 



Overburden removal 
Blasting/drilling 



Truck loading 
Truck hauling 



Truck dumping 



Storage piles 



Overburden disposal and 
exposed areas 



Crushing, screening, 
conveying, and transfer 
points 



Minimize distance of fall from bucket 

Minimize blast area 

Use sequential blasting 

Drill with fluid media 

Vent drill into collection device 

Minimize fall distance 

Apply paving, water, chemical sealant or 
some other form of dust suppression to 
road surface 
Wash; wet down, treat, or cover haul trucks 
Restrict vehicle speeds and haul distances 
Restrict vehicles to designated roads 
Maintain roads and remove loose debris 
Construct "curb-type" structures on roads 

Maintain negative pressure on bottom dump trucks 

Minimize fall distance 

Dump on downwind site of open storage 

Employ closed or covered storage 

Minimize soil pile area 

Cover exposed areas with mulch during revegetation 

Furrow spoil piles 

Establish windbreaks 

Minimize topsoil disturbance 

Employ rapid revegetation 

Cover or enclose activities 
Install fabric filters 
Water spray activities 



Source: Radian Corp., 1978. 



IV-10 




MAP IV-1. ANNUAL AVERAGE TSP CONCENTR ATIONS(UG/M3) FOR 1980 

UNDER THE PROPOSED ACTION. SOURCE: R ^ 



IV-11 




COLORADO 
NEW MEXICO 



Chant) Canyon National Monument 






.J^!sd_. 



V 






• Crimp* 




c_i 



i_n 




L 



5 10 15 20 
1 1 u 1 1 

MILES 

SCALE 



MAP IV-2. ANNUAL AVERAGE S02 CONCENTR ATIONS(UG/M3) FOR 1980 

UNDER THE PROPOSED ACTION. _ kl , A „ 

SOURCE: RADIAN, 1977b 



IV-12 



UTAH 




COLORADO 
"NEW MEXICO 



ft£*l 



^_n 




5 1 l 5 20 

l 1 I L__J 

MILES 
SCALE 



MAP 1V-3. ANNUAL AVERAGE N02 CONCENTR ATIONSIUG/M3) FOR 1980 

UNDER THE PROPOSED ACTION. 

SOURCE: RADIAN. 1977b. 



IV-13 




MAP IV-4. ANNUAL AVERAGE TSP CONCENTRATIONS(UG/M3) FOR 1985 



UNDER THE PROPOSED ACTION. 



SOURCE: RADIAN, 1977b 



IV-14 



I 




MAP IV-5. ANNUAL AVERAGE S02 CONCENTR AT!ONS(UG/M3) FOR 1985 



UNDER THE PROPOSED ACTION. 



SOURCE: RADIAN, 1977b 



IV-15 



UTAH 




COLORADO 
"NEW MEXICO 



>CuiM 



I 



-i_n 




N 



5 10 15 20 

i i ' m t — i 

MILES 



SCALE 



MAP IV-6. ANNUAL AVERAGE N02 CONCENTR ATIONS(UG/M3) FOR 1985 

UNDER THE PROPOSED ACT.ON. ^^ ^ ^^ 



IV-16 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



Concentrations of SO a in 1985 would not violate 
Federal or State ambient quality standards. A maxi- 
mum 24-hour N0 2 concentration of 186 ^.g/m 3 , 
exceeding the New Mexico standard, would occur 
within two miles of the Four Corners Generating 
Station. 

Maps IV-7, IV-8, and IV-9 illustrate the concen- 
trations of TSP, S0 2 and NO2 that would occur in 
the region by 1990. No new violations of Federal 
or State ambient air-quality standards are predicted 
for this year. However, increased emissions from 
the New Mexico Generating Station would result 
in a larger area of the ES Region being affected by 
the interacting plumes from this station and the San 
Juan and Four Corners Generating Stations. 

Emissions from mines would not exceed the 
Class II PSD increments allowed for TSP, nor 
would they use any of the PSD increments in 
Chaco Canyon National Monument should it be 
designated a Class I area. Emissions from the New 
Mexico Generating Station would use portions of 
the PSD increments allowable for Class I areas at 
Chaco Canyon National Monument as shown in 
Table IV-7. 

WATER RESOURCES 

Ground Water 

Construction of the proposed Star Lake Railroad 
would have little or no regional impact on the 
ground-water resources. During construction, ap- 
proximately 64 Mgal, or 196 acre-feet, of ground 
water would be pumped from 15 wells scattered 
along the proposed route. These wells would be 
pumped about 12 hours a day. Even though several 
of these wells would be in use simultaneously, ef- 
fects of the pumping generally would not be no- 
ticed much beyond half a mile to a mile from the 
well. Because no existing or planned wells are 
within a mile of the proposed railroad wells, there 
would be no inconvenience to anyone in the area. 

After the railroad is built, three of the wells 
would be kept in service, two to provide water for 
the facilities near Prewitt and one for the facilities 
at Star Lake Junction near Pueblo Pintado. To- 
gether they would pump about 50 acre-feet a year. 
The employees and their families would require an 
estimated additional 10 acre-feet a year for domes- 
tic use. This would be supplied either by private 
wells or by community water systems. 

It is not anticipated that construction of the 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line would 
have any effect on ground water in the region. 
Employees and their families would require about 
5-acre feet of water a year for domestic use, most 
of which would be obtained from community 
water systems. 



More significant impacts on ground water would 
occur from the developments that would probably 
occur once the railroad and transmission line are 
built. The proposed New Mexico Generating Sta- 
tion and its associated coal mine near Bisti would 
use the most water. Plans call for the 30,000 to 
40,000 acre-feet of water needed to be obtained 
from uranium mines near Crownpoint, about 35 
miles to the south. This water would come chiefly 
from the Westwater Canyon Member of the Morri- 
son Formation, which must be dewatered for 
mining to proceed. Some of the water pumped out 
would be used for processing the uranium, but 
most of it would be discharged into nearby washes. 
Piping this water to the powerplant would put it to 
beneficial use. However, the Becenti Chapter of 
the Navajo Nation has filed a claim to this water. 

Dewatering of the uranium mines would drasti- 
cally lower the water levels in nearby wells tap- 
ping the Westwater Canyon Member, such as those 
at Crownpoint. The effects would extend several 
miles from the mines, and could overlap the effects 
of pumping at some of the potential coal mines. 
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is making a regional 
study covering the uranium mining (to be complet- 
ed in September, 1979). A digital model of the 
ground water resources of the San Juan Basin is 
being built by the U.S. Geological Survey, Water 
Resources Division, New Mexico District. When 
completed, this model will be used to predict the 
impacts on ground water of all the anticipated de- 
velopments in the basin. The results will be pub- 
lished by the Survey early in 1979. 

If water from the uranium mines is not available, 
the company has suggested obtaining the water 
locally from 16 deep wells. This would seriously 
impact the ground-water resources. Pumping the 
30,000 to 40,000 acre-feet needed annually to oper- 
ate the powerplant would create a large area of 
head decline, probably would affect pumping at 
potential nearby coal mines, and might even 
dewater part of the aquifer. No data are available 
to allow a quantitative estimate of these impacts. 

Development of the Alamito, South Hospah, and 
Star Lake mines would result in the pumping of an 
estimated 4,745 acre-feet of ground water by 1990. 
Insufficient data are available to calculate the total 
impacts of this pumpage. Because the mines are 
scattered through the region, there should not be 
any overlapping of the cones of depression. 

Data supplied by Chaco Energy Co. for the Star 
Lake Mine indicate that by 1990 its cone of depres- 
sion would extend about 15 miles from the center 
of pumping. Water levels in the Westwater Canyon 
Member of the Morrison Formation would have 
declined about 150 feet 5 miles from the well and 
30 feet 10 miles from the well. Water levels in the 
Entrada Sandstone would have declined 140 feet 5 



IV-17 



UTAH 



COLORADO 
NEW MEXICO 



5 10 15 20 

i 1 1 1 1 

MILES 
SCALE 




MAP IV-7. ANNUAL AVERAGE TSP CONCENTR ATIONSIUG/M3) FOR 1990 
UNDER THE PROPOSED ACT,ON. ^^ „ 



IV- 18 




COLORADO 
NEW MEXICO 



!£"*•! 



V 



B Crjnqw 




P 










5 10 15 20 

i 1 1 l i 

MILES 
SCALE 



MAP IV-8. ANNUAL AVERAGE S02 CONCENTR ATIONSIUG/M3) FOR 1990 

UNDER THE PROPOSED ACTION. so(JRCE: RAD|AN| ]Wb _ 



IV-19 




5 10 15 20 

i i i i i 

MILES 
SCALE 



MAP IV-9. ANNUAL AVERAGE N02 CONCENTR ATIONS(UG/M3) FOR 1990 

UNDER THE PROPOSED ACTION. ROURCE: RADIAN. 1977b 



IV-20 



Table IV-7 

S0 2 AND TSP CONCENTRATIONS AT THE CHACO CANYON 
' NATIONAL MONUMENT DUE TO EMISSIONS FROM 
THE NEW MEXICO GENERATING STATION 



Pollutant 


Average Time 


Concentrations 
1985 1990 


Class I 
Increments 


S0 2 


Annual 


<1 


<1 


2 




2 4 -Hour 


2 


6 


5 




3-Hour 


10 


31 


25 


TSP 


Annual 


<1 


<1 


r ; 




24-Hour 


<1 


<1 


10 



Source: Radian Corp., 1978. 



IV-21 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



miles away and 30 feet 10 miles away. Declines 
may be noticeable as much as 20 miles from the 
centers of pumping. These figures probably ap- 
proximate the effects of pumping at the other two 
mines. 

One other factor that would affect the regional 
ground-water supply is the increased demand for 
domestic water supplies that would be created by 
the influx of mine and generating station employees 
and their families. If we assume that this increase in 
population is 12,000, and that the average use of 
water is 100 gallons per person per day, then about 
1,350 acre-feet would be withdrawn yearly. This 
demand would be spread over the ES Region, most 
of it centered in communities such as Bloomfield, 
Cuba, and Farmington. Most of the communities 
obtain their water supply from wells, but Farming- 
ton, Bloomfield and a few others near the San Juan 
River use surface water. Some communities al- 
ready need to increase their water supply, and the 
increased demand would add to their problems. 

Concern has been expressed that heavy pumping 
from the aquifers (particularly the Morrison) and 
the accompanying decline in head would affect the 
flow of the San Juan River. The only place where 
the San Juan River flows in contact with the Mor- 
rison Formation is in the extreme northwest corner 
of New Mexico, well outside the ES Region. How- 
ever, it has been argued that the high head in the 
Morrison Formation causes a natural upward flow 
from the aquifer into overlying aquifers that con- 
tribute to flow in the San Juan River. Reducing the 
head in the Morrison would decrease the move- 
ment of water upward to those aquifers and, thus, 
decrease their discharge to the San Juan River. 
Throughout most of its course in New Mexico, the 
San Juan River flows across the Lewis Shale or 
younger formations (Map D). This means that any 
upward flow from the Morrison Formation would 
have to move through several thousand feet of 
sediments, mostly shale, siltstone or fine-grained 
sandstone. Only at the narrow exposures formed by 
the Hogback, east of Shiprock, does the San Juan 
cross a good aquifer (the Cliff House Sandstone). 
Therefore, it seems doubtful that upward flow 
from the Morrison contributes measurably to flow 
in the San Juan River. 

During the course of the strip mining it would 
be necessary to remove shallow aquifer materials, 
mostly alluvium and the Fruitland Formation. 
None of these aquifers is of regional importance, 
and few wells obtain water from them. It has been 
suggested that removal and subsequent replacement 
of materials in the strip mines would tend to in- 
crease the permeability of the surficial material, 
increasing the amount of recharge to the aquifers. 
However, it has also been suggested that heavy 
equipment moving over these materials during re- 



grading would compact them and make them less 
permeable. Data collected since the fall of 1975 at 
Utah International's Navajo Mine, just west of the 
ES Region, indicate no change in runoff and infil- 
tration due to mining and reclamation (Sterling 
Grogan, oral commun., 1977). 

As mining progresses in the region it may be 
necessary to destroy several wells. These wells are 
used primarily for watering livestock, and most of 
them obtain water from one of the bedrock 
aquifers. As mining moves into their areas, the live- 
stock would be moved to other areas and would 
not be returned until after reclamation is finished. 
At that time there should be no difficulty in devel- 
oping new wells. 

Intersection of water-bearing materials by fis- 
sures due to subsidence could lower water levels 
locally. Several stock and domestic wells scattered 
in the areas of the Salt River Project mines obtain 
water from the Ojo Alamo Sandstone or the Naci- 
miento Formation, and could be thus affected by 
mining in the underlying Fruitland Formation. 
Wells in the vicinity of the La Ventana Mine 
obtain water from the alluvium, and probably 
would not be affected by subsidence. 

Surface Water 

The Star Lake Railroad and the Fruitland Coal 
Load would have little impact on the surface 
water. The most important impact would be some 
temporary ponding against the railroad embank- 
ment on the upstream side following heavy storms 
and, because of the storage effect of this ponding, a 
reduction in the peak discharge. The total volume 
of flow should not be affected by the drainage 
structures. The service and repair facilities of the 
railroad would be located on the flood plain for 
Mitchell Draw, increasing the opportunity for 
impact on the surface-water resources. 

The greatest impact on the surface-water re- 
sources of the region would be the destruction of 
parts of many surface channels during the coal 
mining that would probably occur. This would in- 
clude many major channels such as Papers Wash, 
Daniel Wash, Chaco Wash, Canada Corralo, Ah- 
Shi-Sle-Pah Wash, De-Na-Zin Wash and Hunter 
Wash. Several lakes and many stock ponds would 
be destroyed or deprived of much of their inflow. 
After reclamation, new channels would have to 
become established and stabilized. During this time, 
channel cutting could become a serious problem. 
Table IV-8 lists the miles of channel estimated to 
be disturbed each year by the potential coal 
mining. The range is necessary to cover both the 
variety of topography and the uncertainty of rate 
of mining. The mining proposals are not in suffi- 
cient detail to allow computation of miles of re- 
stored channel. 



IV-22 



Table IV- 8 
ESTIMATED LENGTH OF CHANNEL DISTURBED 



to 









Miles of 


channel 


disturbed 


annually 














Year 










Drainage Area Size 
(square miles) 


197b 

Min. Max. 


1980 
Min. Max. 




1985 
Min. Max. 


1990 
Min. Max. 


.1 - .5 


0.23 


0.91 


1.67 


6.67 




1.38 


5-52 


1.50 


6.03 


.5 - 1.0 


• 09 


.H5 


.67 


3.33 




.55 


2.76 


.60 


3.00 


1.0 - 5.0 


.05 


.32 


.33 


2.33 




.28 


1.93 


• 30 


2.10 


5.0 - 10.0 


.02 


.23 


.17 


1.67 




.14 


1.33 


.15 


1.50 


More than 10.0 


.0 


.14 


.0 


1.00 




.0 


.83 


.0 


.90 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



A number of new lakes-fresh water impound- 
ments and slurry ponds-would be created. Without 
design data, specific impacts of these lakes cannot 
be determined. Because of their purpose, these 
lakes probably would be kept as full as possible. 
Under these circumstances, the peak discharge 
from a large flood could be increased in magnitude 
by the breeching of the dam and the release of 
impounded water. Breeching of the slurry ponds 
probably would add the sediment from the bottom 
of the ponds to the sediment load. There is about a 
30-percent chance of the 100-year flood occurring 
during a typical 35-year life of a mine. (See Chap- 
ter II for the probability of different levels of 
flooding during the life of a mine.) 

Surface runoff from the active mine areas would 
drain into the mine pits and remove these areas 
from contributing to the flow. Based on the 
amount of area mined each year, the flows would 
probably be reduced by less than 5 percent. The 
100-year flood peaks from the major drainages 
would probably be reduced by 50 to 200 cubic feet 
per second. 

The amount of impact from the haul road cross- 
ings of the major washes cannot be determined 
until design detail is available. The mine-support 
facilities areas for several mines are in flood plains. 
The buildings and facilities would be subject to 
flooding or, if protection is provided, could cause 
backwater upstream. 

Water Quality 

Insufficient data are available to evaluate the po- 
tential impact of the proposed action on the water 
quality. Any industrial operation such as a railroad 
or coal mine produces significant quantities of 
waste material including septic, solid and liquid. 
Improper design of systems to handle these wastes, 
or breakdowns in the system could result in pollu- 
tion. Herbicides used for control of weeds along 
the railroad right-of-way could cause pollution in 
the streams or the alluvial aquifers. In addition, 
there is always the possibility of an accidental spill 
of a pollutant such as diesel fuel, lubricating oil or 
blasting materials. If any of these material should 
get into the shallow ground-water system or the 
stock ponds, they could make the water unsuitable 
locally for domestic or stock use. Because ground 
water moves so slowly and there is so little sur- 
face-water runoff, this effect could be long lasting. 

Quality of the ground water in the areas of the 
proposed mines generally is fair to poor, with dis- 
solved solids concentrations usually exceeding the 
EPA's recommended limit of 500 mg/L, and often 
exceeding the upper limit of 1,000 mg/L. Only 
very near the outcrops of the bedrock or in places 
in the alluvium can good quality ground water be 
obtained. Nevertheless, this is the only water avail- 



able in most of the area, and further degradation of 
the quality would be locally significant. 

Heavy pumping from some of the bedrock 
aquifers could induce poorer quality water to leak 
into the aquifer from adjacent aquifers or to mi- 
grate from poorer zones within the aquifer. For 
example, heavy pumping from the Morrison For- 
mation along the Fruitland coal trend could cause 
south and southeastward movement of saline water 
within the aquifer. 

A study by Wentz (1974) indicated that coal 
mining had very little impact on the quality of the 
surface water in Colorado. 

Sediment 

The major sediment impact from the proposed 
action would be from the construction of the Star 
Lake Railroad. A gross total of 179,000 tons of 
sediment are expected during this construction. 
The Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line would 
add a maximum gross load of 1,070 tons of sedi- 
ment per year. The potential surface coal mines 
would have maximum gross total sediment dis- 
charges ranging from 1,070 to 28,800 tons per year, 
with an average maximum of 13,700 tons per year. 

The drainage ditches and by-pass channels for 
the coal mines, and the combining of several small- 
er streams behind the railroad embankment would 
probably contribute additional sediment discharge 
through channel cutting and scour, but until actual 
ditch sizes and channel slopes are known, sediment 
discharges cannot be estimated. 

Some increase in sediment could be expected 
from the increased use of existing roads and from 
the new roads. 

Table IV-9 shows the estimated sediment dis- 
charges that would be expected. Because so little is 
known about sediment movement in arid regions, 
these discharges should not be totaled except to 
determine an extreme worst possible case. 

Probably the sediment moves downstream into 
stream channels as slug flows. The first flow car- 
ries it downstream some unknown distance, along 
the way either picking up more sediment or depos- 
iting out some, or both; the second flow would 
carry it farther downstream, and so forth. Because 
of the high natural sediment discharges, this added 
sediment discharge possibly might not be carried 
very far downstream before the water is saturated 
with sediment and would not pick up any more. At 
this point, the natural and the increased sediment 
discharges would become indistinguishable from 
each other, and impacts would be difficult to 
follow. Quite possibly, after some unknown period 
of time, some of the increased sediment discharges 
would reach the San Juan River. 



IV-24 






Table IV-9 



ESTIMATED SEDIMENT DISCHARGE 
(tons) 





Name 




1977 






1980 






1985 






1990 






Gross 






Gross 






Gross 






Gross 






Working 
Mine M 


Total y 


Net 3/ 


Working 
Mine V 


Total y 


Net 3/ 


Working 
Mine 1/ 


Total y 


Net 3/ 


Working 
Mine 2/ 


Total y 


Net 1/ 




Alamito 














13,600 


13,600 


8,150 


15,400 


18,700 


4,960 




Amcoal 


670 


2,430 


920 


3,070 


4,830 


2,440 


3,370 


4,610 


220 


460 


5,370 


130 




Arroyo #1 








550 


550 


500 


1,020 


1,050 


800 


15 


140 


-140 




La Ventana 


* 






* 


260 


120 


* 


260 


120 


* 


260 


120 




McKInley 


2,180 


15,700 


8,530 


7,740 


19,900 


11,600 


17,800 


25,600 


12,500 


19,800 


28,800 


9,890 




San Juan 


1,520 


2,310 


1,740 


2,750 


3,360 


2,570 


2,930 


3,430 


2,070 


2,590 


3,370 


1,520 


*-< 


Star Lake 








14,000 


15,900 


10,800 


13,300 


21,700 


10,400 


14,600 


26,800 


7,730 


< 


South Hospah 








1,000 


1,060 


950 


4,780 


4,960 


3,980 


4,820 


5,400 


3,500 


& 


Bisti 








9,410 


9,710 


9,010 


10,100 


11,200 


8,790 


19,200 


21,400 


15,900 




Gamerco 





450 


220 


11,500 


12,000 


9,840 


6,970 


8,840 


3,970 


4,640 


8,180 


1,540 




San Juan Generating 


X 


1,130 


630 


* 


1,130 


630 


* 


1,130 


630 


* 


1,130 


630 




New Mexico Generating 








);• 


6,660 


3,700 


/ St 


6,660 


3,700 


■>; 


6,660 


3,700 




Pruitland Coal Load 








.* 


680 


190 


* 


1,070 


310 


* 


1,070 


310 




Star Lake Railroad 








* 


179,000 


167,000 


* 


55,800 


43,400 


->; 


55,800 


43,400 




Community Development 


s 


4,200 


740 


* 


9,630 


1,690 


* 


10,000 


1,750 


-:; 


14,000 


450 




Pipeline 








«■ 


1,680 


560 


■:•■ 


1,680 


560 


* 


1,680 


560 




Transmission Line 














* 


1,070 


300 


* 


1,070 


300 



Note: Sediment discharges are not cumulative and therefore not totaled. 
For methodology see section on sediment computation in Appendix B. 
* Not applicable. 



- Includes discharge from open pit, spoil, pile, vegetated areas and revegetated areas not fully recovered. 
t/ Includes above plus rehabilitated areas and other disturbed areas (buildings, storage, roads, etc.) 
3/ Above adjusted for the sediment discharge that would have occurred naturally. 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



Summary of Impacts 

The greatest impact on water resources from the 
proposed action would be the annual use of 59,000 
acre-feet of water by 1990, including about 48,000 
acre-feet by generating stations and 8,700 acre-feet 
by coal mines. Most of this water would come 
from the ground-water reservoirs, with a resultant 
lowering of heads up to 20 miles from some of the 
centers of pumping. 

This water would be used for dust control, coal 
washing, cooling, and irrigation of reclaimed areas, 
and would be lost to the atmosphere through evap- 
oration and transpiration. The small amount used 
for sanitary purposes at the mines and other devel- 
opments would be discharged to septic tanks. 
There are no plans to discharge any of the water to 
streams in the area except for domestic waste dis- 
charged through municipal waste-disposal systems. 
Most of the mines are far enough from any peren- 
nial streams that any accidental discharges would 
evaporate or sink into the ground before reaching a 
stream. 

Other serious impacts include the increased po- 
tential for pollution of the ground water, destruc- 
tion of many stream channels during mining, dis- 
charge of 179,000 tons of sediment during con- 
struction of the railroad, and an average annual 
sediment discharge of 13,700 tons per mine from 
the coal mines. 

SOILS 

Impacts on soils would result from the disturb- 
ance of an estimated 28,000 acres (0.6 percent) of 
the region by 1990 due to coal-related development 
(see Table IV-10), of which about 17,950 acres (0.4 
percent) would be directly disturbed as a result of 
the proposed actions (Table IV- 11). Activities caus- 
ing soil disturbances would include mining, con- 
struction of mine-support facilities, roads, railroads, 
transmission lines, power plants, and new housing 
facilities. 

During construction of the Star Lake Railroad, 
an estimated 2,854 acres would be disturbed, of 
which 1,272 acres would be covered by ballast, fill 
material, and service roads, or excavated for cuts 
and borrow material. Secondary mining develop- 
ment dependent upon the railroad would disturb 
about 7,295 acres by 1990. Construction of the 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line would dis- 
turb an estimated 307 acres, of which 48 acres 
would be covered by switching stations, substations 
and poles. Secondary development dependent upon 
the transmission line would disturb about 12,663 
acres by 1990, of which 5,170 acres would also be 
dependent upon the railroad. 

Impacts from such soil disturbances would be 
either those affecting the suitability of the soil as a 



plant growth medium, or those affecting runoff, 
erosion, and sediment yield to downstream areas. 
Removal of vegetative cover and topsoil during 
stripping and grubbing operations would expose 
substrata to wind and water action. Compaction of 
the substrata would reduce permeability and infil- 
tration rates, thereby increasing the potential for 
runoff, erosion and sedimentation. Cut and fill op- 
erations, involving the mixing and moving of soil 
and geologic material, would result in loss of soil 
structure, and compaction and mixing of various 
textured soils and horizons, thus increasing bulk 
density and creating different soils. Less fertile sub- 
strata or toxic materials may be exposed that would 
be detrimental to reclamation efforts. 

During mining operations, removal of vegetative 
cover and suitable plant growth media would 
occur on about 1,380 acres per year, of which 860 
acres would be a direct result of the proposed 
action. This would result in the mixing of existing 
soils and exposing substrata and geologic material 
to accelerated erosion by wind and water. The 
stripping and overburden removal processes would 
disrupt profiles, mixing different textured soils, and 
changing physical, chemical and biological charac- 
teristics. Mixing of soil horizons, loss of structure, 
decreased permeability, changes in micro-organism 
populations and increased bulk density would 
occur. Dust would add to soil loss from wind 
action during dry periods. 

Population increases due to coal development in 
the region would result in the disturbance of about 
1,990 acres by 1980, of which 1,010 acres would 
result from the proposed action, the remainder is 
due to development without the proposed action; 
about 2,070 acres by 1985, of which 1,090 acres 
would be dependent on the proposed actions; and 
about 2,880 acres by 1990, of which 1,680 acres 
would result from the proposed actions for con- 
struction of housing and support facilities. In- 
creased off-road vehicle use would result in in- 
creased compaction and erosion susceptibility, cre- 
ating additional unquantifiable impacts. 

In summary, the soil on an estimated 28,000 
acres, which is less than one percent of the ES 
Region, would be disturbed by 1990 due to coal- 
related development. About 17,950 acres (less than 
0.4 percent of the region) would be directly dis- 
turbed as a result of the proposed actions. Distur- 
bances due to construction and mining activities 
would result in major alteration of soil characteris- 
tics, creating different soils and reducing soil pro- 
ductivity. Reclamation experience in the region has 
not been of sufficient duration for studies to deter- 
mine the long-range effects on soil productivity. 



IV-26 



Table IV-10 

PROJECTED SOIL DISTURBANCE DUE TO ALL COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT 
AT THE MID-LEVEL OF PRODUCTION 



to 
«4 



1/ 



Soil Association 



1977 



3 Penistaja-Sheppard-Rockland 

4 Persayo-Billings-Badland 

5 Las Lucas-Lit le-Per say o 

7 Travessilla-Persayo-Rockland 

10 Persayo-Camborthids 

11 Persayo-BIllings 

12 Rockland-Billings 

13 Chipeta-Sheppard-Shiprock 

15 Penistaja-Lohmiller-Travessilla 

16 Penistaja-Sheppard-Palma 

17 Lohmiller-San Mateo 
19 Hagerman-Travessilla 
22 Prieta-Thunderbird 

27 Werlow-Fruit land-Billings 

28 Doak-Shiprock 

31 Badland-Rockland 

32 Camborthids-Farb 

33 Persayo-Lohmiller 

34 Rockland-Travessilla 

35 Billings-Badland 



TOTAL 



1/ 



2,624 



Acres Disturbed 
1980 1985 



10,895 



17,512 



1990 






2 


2 


2 








40 


40 





37 


370 


678 


196 


711 


1,516 


1,886 





56 


79 


79 





192 


205 


205 





142 


172 


172 





103 


271 


584 


1,139 


1,413 


2,267 


3,277 





75 


75 


75 





377 


577 


692 





1,191 


1,911 


2,556 





177 


177 


177 


261 


452 


771 


1,052 


17 


258 


709 


1,385 


450 


1,032 


1,875 


3,310 





323 


333 


333 





1,083 


1,913 


2,952 


561 


951 


1,361 


1,840 





2,320 


2,888 


3,830 



25,125 



Does not include acres disturbed for housing and support facilities because of unknown locations 



Table IV-11 
PROJECTED SOIL DISTURBANCE DUE -JUST TO THE PROPOSED ACTION 







Acres Disturbed 




Soil Association 


1980 


1985 


1990 


3 Penistaj a-Sheppard-Rockland 


2 


2 


2 


4 Persayo-Billings-Badland 





40 


40 


5 Las Lucas-Lit le-Persayo 


37 


367 


678 


7 Travessilla-Persayo-Rockland 





63 


63 


10 Persayo-Camborthids 


56 


79 


79 


11 Persayo-Billings 


192 


205 


205 


12 Rockland-Billings 


142 


172 


172 


13 Chipeta-Sheppard-Shiprock 


103 


271 


584 


16 Penistaj a-Sheppard-Palma 


75 


75 


75 


17 Lohmiller-San Mateo 


238 


258 


258 


19 Hagerman-Travessilla 


1,191 


1,911 


2,556 


22 Prieta-Thunderbird 


177 


177 


177 


28 Doak-Shiprock 


228 


658 


1,315 


31 Badland-Rockland 


531 


1,289 


2,649 


32 Camborthids-Parb 


323 


333 


333 


33 Persayo-Lohmiller 


1,083 


1,913 


2,952 


34 Rockland-Travessilla 


278 


297 


297 


35 Billings-Badland 


2,320 


2,888 


3,830 


Total 1/ 


6,976 


11,001 


16,265 



1/ Does not include acres disturbed for housing and support facilities because 
of unknown locations. 



IV-28 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



VEGETATION 

An estimated 28,000 acres would be disturbed in 
the region by 1990. The proposed actions would 
result in the removal or disturbance of the native 
vegetation on approximately 7,990, 12,100 and 
17,950 acres by 1980, 1985, and 1990, respectively. 
This would represent a loss of vegetation on about 
0.4 percent of the area of the ES Region by 1990, 
and about 19 percent of the known disturbance 
expected to occur within the region. Of the 17,950 
acres disturbed by 1990, 2,854 acres would be dis- 
turbed by construction of the SLR, 307 acres by 
the FCL. The rest of the disturbance would be 
secondary impacts from coal mining and communi- 
ty development. Additional disturbance of vegeta- 
tion may occur due to increased outdoor recre- 
ational activities of the increasing population. Table 
IV- 12 shows the approximate acres of each vegeta- 
tive type that would be disturbed by the proposed 
action, and total disturbance expected to occur 
within the region. None of the disturbance would 
affect endangered or threatened plants. 

Efforts to reclaim disturbed lands would begin 
shortly after the activities causing the disturbance 
end. In the case of surface coal mining, reclamation 
would generally be concurrent with mining, but 
would lag mining by two to three spoil piles 
(behind the active pit) for safety. None of the land 
disturbed by the proposed action could be re- 
claimed by 1980, but an estimated 2,024 and 5,364 
acres would be reclaimed by 1985 and 1990 respec- 
tively. 

Reestablishment of vegetation on disturbed lands 
in the region would be difficult due to many fac- 
tors, but the most limiting single factor would be 
lack of moisture relations (Cook, Hyde, and Sims, 
1974; Hodder, 1977). Most disturbance of vegeta- 
tion that would result from the proposed action 
would occur in areas where the average annual 
precipitation totals are 10 inches or less (Map II-7). 
Most of this precipitation occurs during the grow- 
ing season (Gifford, Ashcroft, and Magnuson, 
1967), but the year to year variability in amounts of 
growing-season precipitation and uneven distribu- 
tion of this precipitation (Tuan, et al., 1973) result 
in long dry periods. These factors indicate that the 
natural precipitation would not be an adequate 
source of moisture for consistent successful estab- 
lishment of vegetative cover from seeding efforts. 
Therefore, supplemental irrigation would be neces- 
sary during dry periods to insure seedling emer- 
gence and establishment (Aldon and Springfield, 
1977). 

Other factors that would limit successful revege- 
tation are related to soils. On some areas, the quan- 
tity of unconsolidated surface material suitable for 
use as plant growth medium is limited, and some 



soils contain salt concentrations high enough to 
limit seedling establishment and growth (Maker, 
Keetch, and Anderson, 1973; Maker, Bullock, and 
Anderson, 1974). 

Bare soil surfaces in the region are subject to 
invasion by weedy plant species (particularly Rus- 
sian thistle). These weeds can compete with seeded 
species for moisture and nutrients, causing failure 
of seedlings to become established (Decker, Taylor, 
and Willard, 1973). 

Reclamation experience and research in the Star 
Lake-Bisti Region and adjoining areas are limited. 
Most investigations were made prior to the effec- 
tive date (December 13, 1977) of the Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Provisions 
and, therefore, did not necessarily include all items 
specified in these provisions. The results of recla- 
mation efforts and studies can, however, be consid- 
ered indicative of reclaimability of surface-mined 
lands. 

A reclamation research project, initiated at the 
Western Coal Co.'s San Juan Mine in 1974, has 
shown the following results (Gould, personal com- 
munication, 1978): 

(1) Vegetation can be established on areas previ- 
ously mined for coal by surface methods; 

(2) Irrigation is necessary to establish vegetation 
in a reasonable period of time; 

(3) Better stands of native species were estab- 
lished on areas covered with topsoil than on areas 
of spoil material; 

(4) The best treatment for establishment of native 
species was 8 inches of topsoil placed over the 
spoil material; 

(5) Under irrigation, better stands of most species 
were obtained on areas covered with topsoil that 
were not mulched than on areas receiving grass 
hay mulch; 

(6) Fertilizers had little or no effect on establish- 
ment of seeded species. 

Aldon and Springfield (1977) investigated rees- 
tablishment of vegetation at the Utah International 
Navajo Mine and the Pittsburg and Midway Mc- 
Kinley Mine. These investigators included the fol- 
lowing conclusions: 

(1) Vegetation establishment will be possible but 
somewhat difficult and costly, due to climatic un- 
certainties rather than any toxicity of spoil materi- 
al; 

(2) Native plant species seem to offer the best 
possibility for establishment and survival, but reli- 
able seed sources must be developed, and work is 
needed to determine their germination require- 
ments; 

(3) Populations of microflora on mined areas 
need to be re-established. Replacing surface materi- 
al may accomplish this if the material is handled 
properly; 



IV-29 



Table IV-12 
VEGETATIOIJ TYFE DISTURBED 



o 



Vegetation 


Acres 
From 


Disturbed 
Proposed 


Resulting 
Action 


Total Acres Disturbed In 
ES Region 2/ 


Type 


19B0 


1985 


1990 


1980 


1985 


1990 


Grassland 


4,779 


7,051 


9,411 


19,852 


49,243 


58,394 


Sagebrush 


1,132 


2,343 


4,052 


8,600 


10,664 


13,178 


Barren 


90 


550 


1,559 


90 


550 


1,559 


Pinyon-Juniper 


295 


360 


, 408 


2,078 


3,416 


4,627 


Saltbush-Greasewood 


680 


697 


835 


680 


697 


835 


Unknown 2/ 


1,014 


1,094 


1,680 


4,747 


11,574 


19,960 


Total 


7,990 


12,095 


17,945 


36,047 


76,144 


98,553 



— Includes disturbance resulting from the proposed action, other coal mining 
and coal-related development, and cropland development expected to occur 
on the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. 

2/ 

— Estimated disturbance for community development resulting from predicted 

population increases. 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



(4) Supplemental irrigation will be necessary for 
stand establishment when annual precipitation is 
less than eight inches. 

The EMRIA study near Bisti found that, on the 
particular site studied, revegetation of the entire 
site after mining would be difficult because of in- 
sufficient quantities of planting media on the site. 
Gould, et al., (1977) evaluated the potential of 
overburden materials for use in reclamation on an 
area of the Navajo Indian Reservation within 18 
miles of Bisti. They found pulverized core sample 
material to be poor plant growth medium because 
of chemical and physical limitations. They summa- 
rized that the potential for revegetation of graded 
mine spoils would be low unless suitable topsoil or 
amendments are used to assure sufficient water 
penetration and non-toxic salt concentrations. 

From the results of past research and reclama- 
tion trials it appears that obtaining sufficient quanti- 
ties of suitable planting medium and moisture are 
the most limiting factors for successful reclamation 
of mined areas within the region. Where there is a 
sufficient quantity of topsoil with no physical or 
chemical limitations for moisture relations and 
plant growth, and where irrigation is used, there 
would be a high potential for successful reclama- 
tion. In areas of the region with average annual 
precipitation above 10 inches, reclamation may be 
successful without irrigation when suitable plant 
growth medium is used. However, dry years and 
dry periods within specific years would cause fail- 
ures of reclamation efforts where supplemental irri- 
gation is not used. 

Because of the variability in environmental con- 
dition in the region and in reclamation plans that 
may be devised by different mining companies, 
conclusions regarding the probability of successful 
reclamation cannot be drawn now. When mining 
and reclamation plans are filed, each should then 
be examined to determine if they contain provisions 
for placing sufficient quantities of suitable plant 
growth medium on graded spoils and for supplying 
adequate amounts of moisture. Where these provi- 
sions are met, reclamation efforts should successful- 
ly meet standards of SMCRA (30 CFR 700). 

Most seeding mixtures that would be used for 
reclamation would be mixtures of grass species or 
of grass and shrub species. This would give grass- 
land or mixed grassland-shrub aspect to areas suc- 
cessfully reclaimed. After vegetation meeting 
Office of Surface Mining regulations is established, 
secondary succession would occur. This would 
result in changes in species composition and cover 
until plant communities developed that were stable 
and in equilibrium with the controlling environ- 
mental factors (climate, soil type, degree of slope, 
aspect of slope, etc.). Vories (1976) suggested a 
period of 15 to 60 years during which these 



changes would occur. If areas were left for revege- 
tation by natural succession of bare ground to a 
stable plant community, the time required could be 
much longer. Estimates of this time requirement of 
up to several hundred years have been made (Na- 
tional Academy of Science, 1974). 

In summary, the native vegetation on approxi- 
mately 17,950 acres (about 0.4 percent of the 
region) would be destroyed or disturbed by 1990 as 
a result of the proposed action. This represents 
about 19 percent of the total expected vegetation 
disturbance in the region, and none of the disturb- 
ance would affect endangered or threatened plant 
species. Research results and experience indicate 
that successful reclamation of surface-mined areas 
could be achieved where mining and reclamation 
plans provide for placing adequate quantities of 
plant growth medium (topsoil if available) over the 
graded spoils and assuring sufficient quantities of 
moisture for emergence and establishment of 
seeded species. 

WILDLIFE 

Cumulative impacts, resulting from various 
mining, energy, and industrial developments, in- 
cluding increased human activities would alter 
wildlife diversity, densities and habitat utilization of 
the Star Lake-Bisti Region. The magnitude of im- 
pacts, however, are expected to be quite variable 
due to the extent and type of development activi- 
ties involved and the type of habitat disturbed. 
Impacts on wildlife resources are summarized in 
Table IV- 13, and are discussed under two catego- 
ries: impacts on habitat and direct impacts on wild- 
life species. 

Impacts on Habitat 

Table IV- 12 summarizes the various vegetative 
types and corresponding acres disturbed by the 
proposed action. It is estimated that 7,990, 12,100, 
and 17,950 acres of habitat would be destroyed by 
1980, 1985, and 1990, respectively (less than one 
percent of the entire area). These figures, however, 
do not take into account the 10,060 acres of habitat 
disturbed by various other developments not de- 
pendent upon or enhanced by implementation of 
the proposed actions but which are presently being 
implemented or proposed for future construction 
within the region. 

Shortgrass/desert shrub wildlife habitat is the 
most abundant and widespread vegetative cover 
within the region (Fish and Wildlife Service, 1977). 
Many mammals (especially xeric adapted rodents), 
birds, amphibians, reptiles, and arthropods that are 
less mobile and occupy a limited home range 
would experience a loss of habitat. This would 
reduce escape cover, dens and nesting sites, and 



IV-31 











Table IV-13 
















SUMMARY OF IMPACTS ON FISH AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES 


IN 1990 










MAMMALS (75 Species 


) 


BIRDS 


(282 Species 


) 


REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS 


(41 Species) 




NUMBER 


NUMBER . 
PREFERRING^ 7 


IMPACT-/ 


NUMBER 


NUMBER 




NUMBER 


NUMBER . 
PREFERRING^- 7 




HABITAT 


OF 


OF 


PREFERRING-i 7 IMPACT 


OF 


IMPACT 


TYPE 


SPECIES 


HABITAT 


EVALUATION 


SPECIES 


HABITAT 


EVALUATION 


SPECIES 


HABITAT 


EVALUATION 


Short grass/ 






low 






low 






low (16,500 


desert shrub 


45 


10 


(16,500 acres) 


79 


22 


(16,500 acres) 


24 


10 


acres) 


Pinyon/ 






low 






low 






low (480 


juniper 


57 


4 


(480 acres) 


108 


14 


(480 acres) 


26 


9 


acres) 


Ponderosa 


46 


11 


low 


92 


16 


low 


15 


3 


low 


RiparianS/ 


41 


3 


moderate 


178 


97 


high 


19 


11 


high 


Aquatic^/ 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


1 


1 


low 


< 


PISH 


(25 Species) 




TERRESTRIAL ANTHROPODS (8 Orders) 


AQUATIC 


INVERTEBRATES^ 7 (12 


Orders ) 


to 


NUMBER 


NUMBER 
PREFERRING^ 7 


IMPACT-^ 


NUMBER 


NUMBER 




NUMBER 


NUMBER 






OF 


OF 


PREFERRING 


IMPACT 


OF 


PREFERRING 


IMPACT 




SPECIES 


HABITAT 


EVALUATION 


ORDERS 


HABITAT 


EVALUATION 


ORDERS 


HABITAT 


EVALUATION 


Short grass/ 












low 








desert shrub 


— 


— 


— 


8 


8 


(16,500 acres) 


— 


— 


— 


Pinyon/ 












low 








j uniper 


— 


— 


— 


8 


8 


(480 acres) 


— 


— 


— 


Riparian^ 7 


— 


— 


— 


8 


8 


high 


— 


— 


— 


Aquatic^/ 


25 


8 


high 


— 


— 


— 


12 


12 


high 


2/ Preferred 


labitat is defined 


as the habitat 


essential for the 


survival and 


reproduction 


of the species. 








2/ Refers to 


;he aquatic habitat 


essential in 


supporting endemic 


fishes and/or aquatic invertebrates. 








3/ Delineates 


Taxonomic Orders of Invertebrates. 














V Low - less 


than 10 percent of habitat is disturbed 














Moderate - 


between 10 and 50 percent of habitat is disturbed. 














High - more than 50 percent of habitat is disturbed. 














5/ Impacts not quantifiable, are 


secondary impacts due to increased population 


and related 


developments . 








6/ Inpacts due to increased recreational use and surface water appropriation for future developments in northv 


•est New 


feci co. 





Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



food availability, all of which are essential ingredi- 
ents to sustain wildlife densities within the area. In 
addition, some habitat displacement (through inter 
and intra-specific competition) of various wildlife 
would exist on adjacent lands not directly affected 
by the proposed action. 

Pinyon-juniper habitat is the second most abun- 
dant vegetative cover within the region, supporting 
a diversity and abundance of wildlife species. Much 
of the scattered stands of pinyon-juniper woodlands 
have been severely overgrazed by livestock. Deer 
mortalities due to indiscriminate harvest (poaching) 
have resulted in low deer densities throughout the 
region. Antelope, although much less abundant, 
have suffered similar losses. The implementation of 
the proposed actions would tend to place addition- 
al stresses upon currently small populations of big- 
game species by forcing them into areas already 
characterized by lack of suitable habitat (escape 
cover) and low forage production. 

Little, if any, disturbance is expected to occur in 
the ponderosa forests of the region as a result of 
the proposed action. Therefore, impacts on wildlife 
resources occupying this habitat would be minimal. 

In light of the extremely sensitive and irreplacea- 
ble nature of riverine and riparian habitat, any de- 
velopment involving the proposed action and relat- 
ed non-coal development would have a secondary 
high adverse impact on wildlife inhabiting these 
ecosystems in the region. Nesting cover and food 
availability to wildlife species associated with the 
riparian habitat would be reduced an unknown 
amount depending on secondary development. Any 
manipulation of the riparian communities would 
not only influence riparian wildlife, but also would 
influence wildlife diversity and densities in the ad- 
jacent habitat of the San Juan Basin. 

Changes in the San Juan Basin riverine ecosys- 
tem would also alter wet and marshland habitats by 
eliminating food, cover, and nesting habitats. En- 
demic fishes, some of which are presently threat- 
ened and endangered, as enumerated in Chapter II, 
would suffer the possibility of total extirpation 
from their native habitat. Because key wildlife 
areas are difficult to replace, any disturbance 
would result in an incalculable impact to fish and 
wildlife resources inhabiting these areas. 

Perhaps the most critical limiting factor affecting 
wildlife resources of the region will be the lack of 
available water. Much of the surface water in the 
San Juan Basin has been allocated for agricultural, 
industrial, energy and metropolitan growth of the 
region not related to coal development. However, 
the temporary ponding formed against the railroad 
embankment would afford some forms of wildlife 
(chiefly the smaller species inhabiting immediate 
areas) an intermittent supply of water. The new 
lakes (fresh water impoundments and slurry ponds) 



created by mining activities would provide wildife 
a permanent supply of water if water quality is 
suitable and no breaching of the ponds occurs. If 
use by wildlife or livestock is not excessive and 
water levels remain relatively constant, quality 
stands of riparian vegetation may develop. In any 
case, excessive human activity in the vicinity of 
any new water body would tend to limit use to 
only the most tolerant wildlife, typically smaller 
species and those generally noctural in habit. 

Direct Impacts 

Although numerous invertebrates would be lost 
on each acre disturbed by the proposed action, the 
impacts on the entire region would be relatively 
low. Animal harassment would be expected to in- 
crease as population centers seek new areas for 
recreation. Because of their immobility and limited 
home range requirements, some mammals (mainly 
rodents), reptiles, amphibians, and numerous inver- 
tebrates would be destroyed by activities associated 
with the proposed action. These impacts, however, 
are expected to be localized and limited. The sec- 
ondary consumers (carnivorous predators and rap- 
tors) would also be affected by a loss of prey 
species. These impacts on predators, however, 
would be less noticeable because of their mobility 
and ability to seek new feeding grounds. Displaced 
animals would tend to migrate into unfamiliar and 
oftentimes unsuitable habitat which are already at 
their limit to sustain wildlife populations. The net 
cumulative impact would be inter and intra-specific 
competition for available resources (food, cover, 
and space) resulting in wildlife population intoler- 
ances and eventual mortalities. Disturbances associ- 
ated with construction noise, vibrations and in- 
creased traffic activity could alter feeding and 
movement patterns for various terrestrial fauna 
(coyotes, bobcats, fox, deer and antelope). Some 
mortalities would occur due to increased animal 
activity along proposed rights-of-way. 

Endangered and Threatened Species 

While the potential exists (based on their geo- 
graphical distribution), it is not expected that any 
endangered species would be affected by imple- 
mentation of the proposed actions. The black- 
footed ferrets could be impacted by the proposed 
actions by loss of habitat utilized by its principal 
prey species, prairie dogs and ground squirrels. In- 
creased human activity resulting from the proposed 
actions and related non-coal development could in- 
hibit any habitat and feeding utilization of the areas 
by peregrine falcons and bald eagles, and could 
result in illegal shooting. The Colorado River 
squawfish and the razorback sucker and the bony- 
tail and roundtail chubs could be affected if flows 
of the San Juan drainage are reduced for agricul- 



IV-33 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



ture, industrial, municipal and energy development 
in the region or are altered by pollutants from 
these sources. The official Section 7 consultation 
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required 
by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Public 
Law 93-205) has been completed. 

It is also not expected that species currently rec- 
ognized as threatened would be affected by the 
implementation of the proposed actions. The mink 
and osprey could be affected if any riparian habitat 
were destroyed or altered by the proposed actions 
or related developments, thereby inhibiting feeding 
and breeding by these species. Increased human 
activity resulting from development could inhibit 
utilization of the area by such birds as the Missis- 
sippi kite and the red-headed woodpecker. 

AESTHETICS 

Visibility 

Increases in particulate emissions and aerosols 
formed in the atmosphere would reduce the visibil- 
ity in the vicinity of the sources of emissions. The 
decrease in visibility in the ES Region as a whole 
would not be significant. 

In the southern section of the ES Region, away 
from towns and mines, the average annual horizon- 
tal visibility related to atmospheric particulates is 
expected to remain near the baseline of 53 miles. 
Within 2 miles of Gallup, average annual visibility 
will decrease to 44 miles by 1990. Annual average 
visibilities within 3 miles of the McKinley mine 
would also be 44 miles. Worst-case 24-hour visibili- 
ties for these two areas would be about 17 miles. 

Annual baseline visibility in the northern part of 
the ES Region, away from the influence of the 
towns and power plants, would be 32 miles, and 
the worst-case 24-hour, about 12 miles. In 1980, the 
annual visibility in the area around Farmington 
would reduce to 28 miles, with a worst-case 24- 
hour visibility of 10 miles. In 1985 and 1990 the 
annual visibility around Farmington would im- 
prove slightly to 30 miles and the worst-case 24- 
hour level would reach 1 1 miles. 

Reduction in visibility associated with the FCL 
and SLR would be minimal. Most of the emissions 
causing reductions in visibility would occur during 
construction and would be temporary, intermittent, 
and confined to narrow corridors. 

Coal mines and power-generating stations would 
be the major contributors of emissions degrading 
visibility in the region. Visibilities in the area south- 
west of the Four Corners Station would not differ 
significantly from those around Farmington. A 
worst-case 24-hour visibility of 8 miles would 
occur within 2 miles of the Four Corners Station. 
Annual visibility in the area affected most strongly 
by the Four Corners Station would increase to 31 



miles. The worst-case 24-hour visibility would be 
about 11 miles. In 1985 and 1990, the worst-case 
24-hour visibility within 2 miles of the Four 
Corners Station would increase to 11 miles from 8 
miles in 1980. The particulates and sulfate levels 
caused by the San Juan Station emissions would 
reduce visibility due to atmospheric particulates 
less than half a mile assuming an annual rural TSP 
concentration of 25 \ig/ra 3 . 

In 1980, the average annual visibility 3 miles 
from the South Hospah, Alamito and Star Lake 
Mines would be 52 miles, very nearly the annual 
baseline visibility. The worst-case 24-hour visibility 
would be 22 miles. During 1985, annual and worst- 
case 24-hour visibilities would decrease by 1 mile 
each within 3 miles of the three mines. In 1990, 
visibilities around Alamito and South Hospah 
would not differ from 1985 visibilities. Three miles 
from the Star Lake Mine the annual visibility 
would be reduced to 48 miles, with a worst-case 
24-hour visibility of 20 miles. By 1985, the annual 
visibility within 2 miles of the Western Bisti Mine 
would be reduced from 48 to 43 miles; the worst- 
case 24-hour visibility would be reduced to 17 
miles. 

There would be no reduction in the 12-mile 
worst-case, 1-hour visibility in the Chaco Canyon 
National Monument. No mining operations would 
be located any closer than 3 miles from the monu- 
ment. 

Noise 

Sound levels can be expected to increase during 
construction and operation of the proposed devel- 
opments. Unwanted sound can cause annoyance, 
interfere with hearing, speech, and sleep, and 
reduce property values. Because nearly all of the 
area that would be developed is rural, these im- 
pacts would not affect many people. 

The primary source of noise would be construc- 
tion equipment. Operation of the railroad and po- 
tential mining activity also would produce in- 
creased sound levels. Mining noises would be local- 
ized whereas railroad noises would be transitory. 
Most construction noises would be temporary, oc- 
curring while the FCL and SLR are built. 

Short-term localized noise levels during con- 
struction could be as high as 105 dBA, over a 
radius of 50 feet from the source, and would gener- 
ally be about 80 to 90 dBA, in comparison to the 
20 to 40 dBA natural noise levels. The location of 
construction noises would continually change as 
construction progresses, especially along the pro- 
posed rights-of-way, so a noise source would not 
exist for long at any one location. Noise at strip 
mines generally would be in the 80 to 90 dBA 
level. 



IV-34 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



Increased train frequencies would result in an 
increase in existing noise levels at points along the 
rail line. The US EPA has set 55 L dn (decibles 
weighted on a day-night basis) as a long term exte- 
rior noise-level goal for the protection of public 
health and welfare from all adverse effects of noise. 
The relationship between the frequency of train 
operations and the distance from the rail line at 
which noise exceeds the 55 L dn level is presented 
in Figure IV- 1. Some researchers have identified 
the 70 L dn as the threshold level at which pro- 
longed exposure could result in hearing loss. As- 
suming an average rail traffic volume of 25 trains 
per day (the present level on the main-line) operat- 
ing at an average speed of 20 mph, the 70 L dn 
contour for unprotected exterior points would be 
225 feet from the track. If the train frequency in- 
creases to 32 trains per day (the greatest increase 
on any segment resulting from the proposed 
action), this contour would move to approximately 
265 feet from the track. Maximum single-exposure 
noise-level standards established for locomotives 
and cars would tend to lessen the magnitude of the 
noise impact of future rail operations. 

No critical noise-sensitive points, such as 
churches, schools, meeting houses or Chaco 
Canyon National Monument, are within the zone 
where noise levels would exceed 55 dBA. 

Visual Resources 

Implementation of the proposed actions would 
severely impact the visual resources in restricted 
areas. These contrasts would vary with the specific 
activity and its location, and the horizontal lines of 
man-made structures would be especially promi- 
nent in the landscape, with the railroad and the 
transmission line extending for 114 and 108 miles 
across the scenery. 

All visual resources would be impacted by alter- 
ations of the landscape through the disturbance of 
1,272 acres of railroad right-of-way and the addi- 
tion of structures. Approximately 53 percent of this 
disturbance would occur within VRM Class IV 
areas, approximately 40 percent in Class III areas, 6 
percent in Class II areas, and about 1 percent in 
Class I areas. For the FCL, the 48 acres containing 
switching stations, substations, and pole structures 
would be committed through the life of the project 
to VRM Class VI, or lands altered or containing 
structures that would need rehabilitation at the end 
of the project. Only a few poles would be located 
in previously designated VRM Class I areas, 33 
acres would be in Class IV, and 15 acres in Class 
III lands. A total of 259 acres would be temporar- 
ily disturbed by construction activities on the FCL. 
Approximately 4 acres of temporary disturbance 
would occur in VRM Class I lands. The rest 



would fall largely in Class IV areas, with a small 
percentage in Class III. 

Secondary impacts from coal mines, utility corri- 
dors, a power generating station, and community 
development would mainly affect VRM Class IV 
lands. A very small percentage would be within 
VRM Class I, and the rest would be in VRM Class 
III areas. 

The various types of towers would produce 
strong vertical lines. The four towers of the rail- 
road communication system would range between 
40 and 120 feet in height. The wooden 'K' frame 
towers of the 230-kv transmission line would be far 
more evident, with 60- to 90-foot towers placed 
every 700 feet. Other man-made structures would 
be less visible from a distance and more varied in 
shape. These would include fiberglass buildings 
used to house railroad communication equipment 
and storage yards. 

Cuts and fills on the railroad would modify natu- 
ral landforms. There would be a total of 2,100 feet 
of fills and 5,740 feet of cuts exceeding 40 feet in 
height. The height of high walls and the extent of 
spoil piles from potential coal mines would depend 
on the characteristics of coal seams in particular 
locations. 

The impact of man-made structures and distur- 
bances on the visual resources would be affected 
by surrounding topography and the proximity of 
roads. The low growing vegetation characteristic 
of most of this area would not be adequate to 
screen the contrasts that would be created in the 
visual resources. However, depending on the view- 
er's sight line, comparatively small rises in eleva- 
tion may hide many of these visual impacts. 

LAND USE 

Recreation 

While opportunities for recreation would be im- 
pacted slightly by the loss of acreage committed to 
the proposed action, participation in recreation ac- 
tivities is expected to increase as a result of the 
anticipated increase in population. 

Chaco Canyon National Monument, the only de- 
veloped recreation site in the vicinity of the pro- 
posed actions would not be directly impacted. Rec- 
reation use would be restricted on a total of 2,854 
acres of SLR right-of-way, and 48 acres of the 
FCL right-of-way would be removed from recrea- 
tion use. An additional 16,958 acres would be re- 
moved from recreation use by 1990 as a result of 
secondary development. 

The quality of outdoor recreation would be re- 
duced by noise, and air, water and visual pollution 
caused by removal of vegetative cover, soil dis- 
turbance, and introduction of people, machinery, 
structures, utilities, and the railroad. The disturb- 



IV-35 



>■ 

< 
a 



z 
< 

at 




500 



1000 15 

DISTANCE FROM RAIL LINE IN FEET 

FIGURE IV- 1. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FREQUENCY OF TRAINS 
AND DISTANCE FROM RAIL LINE AT WHICH NOISE 
LEVEL EXCEEDS 50 LDN. 



2000 



IV-36 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



ance of vegetative cover and wildlife habitats 
would cause a reduction in the quality of hunting. 

Activities and operations of the proposed actions 
also would result in the long-term loss of the primi- 
tive and remote character that has attracted visitors 
to the area. Some areas presently open to dispersed 
recreation activities could have access cut off by 
fences along the railroad corridor or mine oper- 
ations, and by utilities. 

Impacts to sightseeing activities would occur 
through the loss or damage of cultural and geologi- 
cal resources, and the visual degradation of scenic 
resources caused by disturbances associated with 
the proposed action. On the other hand, the poten- 
tial attraction of mining and the operation of coal 
trains in the ES Region may also draw people into 
the area to view these activities. Improved trans- 
portation networks created by the proposed action 
would benefit these recreationists. The increased 
population in the area would possibly have the 
secondary impact of increased pressure on the 
nearby National Forests. 

Transportation 

Highways 

Population increases would result in the addition 
of 6,985 motor vehicles to highways in the ES 
Region by 1990. This would represent a 4.3 per- 
cent increase in the number of vehicles utilizing 
roads. The proposed actions would produce tempo- 
rary increases in average daily traffic counts during 
construction. Some of this increased truck traffic 
and commuter travel would be permanent effects 
of operation of facilities. Western Coal Company 
would truck coal from its Bisti mine to the San 
Juan Generating Station in some years during the 
1980's. Mine workers and employees of New 
Mexico Generating Station and the Star Lake Rail- 
road would commute to what are now isolated 
locations. 

As Table IV- 14 suggests, primary arteries like 
U.S. Routes 550 and 666, and N.M. Route 44 
would experience large increases in traffic as a 
result of the proposed actions, but the greatest 
roadway impacts would occur on highways in the 
territory of the Eastern Navajo Agency, such as 
Navajo Route 9. A major problem expected from 
additional traffic on these roads is an increase in 
the number of accidents involving livestock, since 
in the vicinity of many of the proposed sites, range 
lands are not fenced. 

Railroads 

Rail operations on the SLR associated with the 
proposed action would reach their peak of an aver- 
age of 13.3 trains per day in 1987, and continue at 
this level through 1990. In addition, between 4 



million and 25 million tons of coal per year (be- 
tween 3 and 17 trains per day) may be entering the 
Defiance Branch from the proposed ConPaso rail- 
road. The cumulative traffic on the main-line, in- 
cluding up to 30 trains of general freight and 17 
trains of ConPaso traffic, could be as high as 60 
trains per day, if all went in the same direction. 
This is within the capacity of the existing main- 
line. 

The amount of fuel consumed transporting coal 
by rail from the region would be dependent on 
numerous factors, including the volume of coal 
moved, the location of the market, train routing, 
and the type of rail carriage (unit train or general 
freight). For the purposes of this analysis, it was 
assumed that all coal would move by unit train 
over the most direct rail route to its destinations. 
To calculate rail distances, Texas destinations were 
assumed to be Fort Worth, and coal produced at 
the La Ventana mine was assumed to move the 
average distance moved by coal produced at the 
other mines. Based on the foregoing assumptions, 
transportation by rail of coal produced at the mid- 
level of coal production would consume approxi- 
mately 40 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. 

To place this number into perspective, in 1975 
private and commercial highway use of diesel fuel 
in New Mexico amounted to approximately 109.8 
million gallons; nationally, 9.6 billion gallons were 
consumed. (U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Federal Highway Administration, "Motor Fuel 
Consumption and Taxation Tables - 1975," Feb. 2, 
1977.) 

The primary source of air pollution associated 
with rail operations is the exhaust emissions from 
diesel locomotives. Hauling 10,000 net tons over 1 
mile (this is equal to 2 train trips) would result in 
the following levels of pollutants entering the air: 
carbon monoxide, 4.29 lbs.; nitrogen oxides, 12.21 
lbs.; hydrocarbons, 3.10 lbs.; sulfur oxides, 1.88 lbs.; 
and particulates, 0.83 lbs. 

Dust blown from uncovered hopper cars would 
result in a small amount of additional particulates. 
Neither this nor the exhaust emissions is expected 
to be a significant factor in future regional air qual- 
ity. 

The Burlington Northern (BN) main-line be- 
tween Sheridan, WY., and Lincoln, NE., has had a 
rapid growth in the amount of coal train traffic in 
recent years. Officials of communities along the 
BN main-line have identified highway traffic delays 
at grade crossings as the most significant problem 
resulting from this increased traffic. Communities 
that have developed around the railroad tracks are 
temporarily severed by passing trains if they do not 
have grade separated crossings. Communities with 
insufficient grade separated crossings find that traf- 
fic levels on the ones they have increase as motor- 



IV-37 













Table rv-l4 








ANTICIPATED Hi! 


SWAY \r,K AND CONDITION IN THE ES REGION 1990 WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 


Route Number 


Length 
in Miles 


County 


And/ 

Proposed 
Actions 


Percent „ 
Increase— ^ 

from 
1977 ADT 


Improvements Needed 


U.S. 550 


57.2 


San Juan 


8-12 


30 


Presently under construction to four-lane; State primary standards will require 
upgrading to remedy deficiencies in foundation and safety as a result of addi- 
tional traffic generated by coal development. Rebuilding would be required at 
an accelerated rate. 


U.S. 666 


86.4 


McKinley 
San Juan 


11-14 


35 


Coal production would force acceleration of upgrading plans. Rebuilding may be 
necessary between Sheep Springs and U.S. 550 Intersection, as opposed to proposed 
overlay . 


N.M. 371 


78.2 
(proposed) 


McKinley 
San Juan 


3- 6 


100 


A major access to coal leases (i.e., Bisti) and Public Service Company of New 
Mexico's New Mexico Generating Station. Development requires acceleration of 
existing construction plans and additional upgrading to at least a two-way high- 
way paved to State secondary standards. Existing portions near Farmington 
presently rated deficient for safety reasons, and may require rebuilding. High- 
way may be temporarily used to truck coal to San Juan Power Plant from Bisti. 


< N.M. 44 

00 


160.2 


San Juan 

Rio Arriba 
Sandoval 


3- 8 


8o 


Major link from northwestern New Mexico, to Albuquerque. Much of the materials 
shipped in would use this route. Over 80 percent presently deficient, surface 
would require additional overlay. 


N.M. 57/197 


39-7 


San Juan 


1- 3 


100-300 


Major commuter access between N.M. 44 and proposed N.M. 371 directly into coal 
lease sites. Twenty-six miles require bituminous paving to State secondary 
standards. N.M. 57 is main connecting link between coal areas and community 
in TLoreau. 


Navajo 
Route 9 


60.0 


McKinley 
Sandoval 


203 


200-300 


This road would serve as a primary access to coal leases in McKinley County. De- 
terioration from commuting traffic and transport of equipment will accelerate 
need for an asphalt overlay. 


Navajo 

Route 46 


20.5 


Rio Arriba 
McKinley 


l- 3 


100-300 


Presently a lightly graded road requiring grading, drainage and paving to accom- 
modate hauling of materials, supplies and workers to the Star Lake area. Con- 
necting-link with N.M. 44. 


Navaj o 
Routes 47/ 


35.6 


Rio Arriba 
McKinley 


1- 3 


100-300 


Presently dirt roads, proposed grading. Drainage and paving would facilitate 
coal prod*,.:: ton near Pueblo Pintado and Star Lake. 


'MKkl/^lsMJ 




[JCJ KJV.I Vc±.L 








Source : New 


Mexico State Highway Der 


•trtment , 1977a 


U.S. Department 


r»f the 'nteri-'r, Bureau of Indian Affair:;, .T'77b. 


— ADT is average dally 
— ' Increases have been 


traffic . 
figures from 1377 AOT given poor condition of 


many roads . 
_ .. . . _ ^_ __ 





Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



ists alter their routes to avoid blocked grade cross- 
ings. In both cases, traffic delays create an inconve- 
nience to local residents and, more importantly, 
may delay the provision of essential community 
services such as police, firefighting, or medical aid. 

In some communities, in addition to acting as 
physical barriers, rail lines represent social barriers 
as well. This occurs when increased train traffic 
further isolates certain sectors of a community 
from the central part of town. Another impact is 
air pollutant emissions from motor vehicles delayed 
at railroad grade crossings. 

The extent of the impacts depends on the fre- 
quency of exposure, the length of the train, and the 
train speed. Santa Fe unit trains normally are some- 
what over a mile in length and take about 3.5 
minutes to pass a particular point at 20 miles per 
hour. If the speed slows to 5 miles per hour, as it 
often does near inspection, maintenance, or classifi- 
cation yards, the train takes approximately 13 min- 
utes to pass a point. Shorter delays would occur in 
undeveloped areas where the train's speed can in- 
crease. Warning devices and automobile driver 
hesitation also extend the amount of time a particu- 
lar crossing is closed. Under normal circumstances, 
train movements would be spread throughout the 
day. Therefore, blockages normally would be limit- 
ed to a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes at any one 
time. Estimated delays at mainline grade crossings 
in 1990 are given in Table IV-15. 

Related to delays at grade crossings is the occur- 
rence of accidents at grade crossings. These will 
increase as train frequency increases. Every grade 
crossing is different, so generalized estimates 
cannot be related to an individual crossing. How- 
ever, estimates can be made for a "typical" cross- 
ing. 

A typical crossing protected by flashing lights 
with 1,000 motor vehicles and 10 trains per day 
would expect to be the site of an accident 0.01 
times per year (once every 100 years). At "25 trains 
per day this would increase to 0.03 times per year, 
and at 50 trains per day it would increase to 0.06 
times per year (Schoppart and Hoyt, 1968), or 6 
times the expected occurrence with 10 trains per 
year. 

Impacts resulting from rail operations would not 
be confined to the region, rather they would be 
manifested, to some degree, wherever the coal 
shipment goes. The impacts discussed previously 
would pertain to rail movement regardless of rout- 
ing. Areas affected would not be subjected to new 
impacts, but the levels of existing impacts would 
increase. As discussed, the effect of an individual 
train would not be significant. It is the repetition of 
these otherwise insignificant impacts that may 
become significant. 



Shipment of coal produced at the mid-level of 
production to the destinations indicated in Chapter 
I would not be concentrated on one segment of the 
rail system and could be accommodated on the 
existing rail lines. The segment of main-line be- 
tween Prewitt and Belen would most likely receive 
the largest addition of coal traffic, averaging 7.3 
trains per day in 1990 (Table IV- 16). At Belen, the 
Santa Fe main-line splits into three separate main- 
lines: one to the northeast ultimately reaching Chi- 
cago, one to the east serving various points in 
Texas, and one to the south ultimately reaching 
Deming, NM, and El Paso, TX. Coal traffic to 
Cochise, AZ., and southwest Texas would travel 
south to be interchanged at Deming with the 
Southern Pacific or at El Paso with either the 
Southern Pacific or Missouri Pacific. The remain- 
ing traffic destined for Texas would continue east. 
Coal destined for the three Texas Utilities power 
plants in northwest Texas would likely use the 
Santa Fe main-line aligned to the northeast from 
Texico, TX, and traffic destined for the Houston 
and Fort Worth areas would use the line aligned to 
the southeast from Texico. At various points this 
traffic would be interchanged with other railroads 
to provide direct access to the power plants. 

The mid-level of production would also generate 
an average increase of 6 trains per day on the 
main-line west of the region. An average of 3.3 
trains per day would most likely depart the main- 
line at Navajo, AZ, approximately 34 miles west of 
the New Mexico state line. This traffic would then 
move south to Springerville, AZ, on the line pres- 
ently under construction in conjunction with the 
development of the Coronado Project (FES 77-34), 
and an extension of this line to Springerville. Oper- 
ation by the Santa Fe over the "Coronado" line to 
serve both users may require operating rights au- 
thority from the ICC; however, there has been no 
application for this authority. The remaining traffic 
west of the region would continue on the main-line 
for 55 miles beyond Navajo to Joseph City, AZ., 
for delivery to a power plant. 

The land adjacent to the Santa Fe main-line on 
which most of the traffic resulting from the action 
would be concentrated is generally rural in nature. 
The number and size of communities that the main- 
line passes through or adjacent to is given in Table 
IV- 17. 

Grazing 

The major adverse impacts on the livestock graz- 
ing resource would be the loss of 1,605 AUMs of 
forage production due to destruction of vegetation 
and removal of areas from grazing. This is a negli- 
gible loss to the livestock industry of the area 
when compared to the 368,024 AUMs of forage 
being produced in the ES Region. Table IV- 18 



IV-39 



Table IV-15 

ESTIMATED DELAY AT GRADE CROSSINGS 
OB 1 MAIN-LINE SEdEOTS 
(minutes per day In 1990) 



Segment 

Prewltt-Belen 
Belen-South 
Belen-Texico 

Te xl co-northeast 
Texlco-southeast 

Prewltt-De fiance 

Defiance-Navajo 

Navajo-Joseph City 
Navaj o-Sprlngervllle 



Total Delay 


Delay Attributable 
To This Action 


161.5 




36.5 


29.5 




9-5 


207 




27 


225 




15 


92 




12 


146 




21 


155 




30 


138.5 




13.5 


24.5 




16.5 



Note: Assumes 5 minutes delay per train. 



IV-40 



Table IV-16 

ESTIMATED INCREASES IN RAIL TRAPFICE ON DOWN-LINE 
MAIN-LINE SEGMENTS 
(trains per day) 2/ 



Segment 


Traffic 
in 1977 


Increased 
Traffic 
in 1990 


Percent 

Increase 

1977-1990 


Prewitt-Belen 


25 


7-3 


29 


Belen-South 


4 


1.9 


48 


Belen-Texico 


36 


5.4 


15 


Texico-northeast 


42 


3.0 


7 


Texico-southeast 


16 


2.4 


15 


Prewitt-Defiance 


25 


4.2 


17 


Def iance-NavaJ o 


25 


6.0 


24 


Navajo-Joseph City 


25 


2.7 


11 


NavaJ o-Springerville 


1.6 


3-3 


206 



±/ Potential traffic from ConPaso Coal is not included. 

2/ Estimated traffic level under initial operating conditions, 



IV -41 



Table IV-17 
COMMUNITIES ALONG SELECTED SEGMENTS OF THE SANTA FE MAIN-LINE 



Prewitt to Belen 

Cities over 1,000 

500-1,000 
100-500 
0-100 

Belen to Texico 

Cities over 1,000 

500-1,000 
100-500 
0-100 

Prewitt to Defiance 

Cities over 1,000 

500-1,000 
100-500 
0-100 

Defiance to Navajo 

Cities over 1,000 

500-1,000 
100-500 
0-100 



(7.3 additional trains per day) 
Grants (8,768), Belen (4,823) 





3 
l 



(5.4 additional trains per day) 
Clovis (31,300), Fort Sunner (1,615) 



■3 
1 
3 



(4.2 additional trains per day) 
Gallup (15,100) 



1 
1 




(6.0 additional trains per day) 

None 



1 
3 
1 



Source: Rand McNally and Company, 1978 Commercial Atlas and Marketing 
Guide. 



IV-42 



Table 17-18 
CUMULATIVE ACREAGE DISTURBED AND AUMS LOST 



Proposal 


1980 
Acres 
Disturbed 


AUMs 
Lost 


1985 

Acres 
Disturbed 


AUMs 
Lost 


1990 

Acres AUMs 
Disturbed Lost 


No Action 


4,892 




155 


7,484 


277 


10,060 


383 


South Hospah 


92 




7 


818 


62 


1,588 


121 


Chaco-Star Lake 


8o4 




31 


1,778 


88 


3,000 


152 


Alamlto 










859 


72 


2,174 


182 


Star Lake Railroad 


2,854 




402 


2,854 


402 


2,854 


402 


Fruit land Coal Load 


194 




46 


307 


46 


307 


46 


Western-Bisti 


552 




27 


.1,600 


67 


3,557 


127 


N.M. Generating Station 


1,920 




108 


1,920 


108 


1,920 


108 


Transmission from N.M.G. 


S. 







305 


25 


305 


25 


Water Pipeline 


560 




59 


560 


59 


560 


59 


Community Development 


1,014 




na y 


1,094 


na y 


1,680 


na y 


Total 


12,882 




835 


19,579 1,206 


28,005 


1,605 



= Since sites for community development are unknown, data for AUMs lost are not 
available. 



IV-43 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



shows the cumulative acres disturbed and AUMs 
lost. Losses of 402 AUMs and 46 AUMs due to the 
construction of the Star Lake Railroad and the 
Fruitland Coal Load, respectively, would be real- 
ized by 1980 and are described in the site-specific 
analyses of this ES. The New Mexico Generating 
Station would cause an additional loss of 108 
AUMs by 1980, affecting three grazing allotments. 
Construction of the water pipeline to the generat- 
ing station would take an estimated 59 AUMs and 
the transmission lines from the generating station 
would take an additional 25 AUMs. It is not 
known what ranches would be affected since the 
exact routes of these facilities have not been deter- 
mined. The loss of forage production due to com- 
munity development was not estimated because it is 
not known whether existing or new sites would be 
used for this purpose. There would be a total loss 
of 640 AUMs due to these proposals, all of which 
would occur before 1985. Revegetation would 
return 46 AUMs within five years after the end of 
construction. However, the remaining 594 AUMs 
would be lost for the life of the projects. 

As shown in Table IV- 18 the loss of forage pro- 
duction due to mining would increase as the 
mining progresses through the periods of consider- 
ation. The losses would be borne, for the most 
part, by ranchers in five grazing allotments, but in 
the absence of specific mining plans, it is not possi- 
ble to predict who would be affected by the 
mining proposals. There would be a total loss of 65 
AUMs due to the four mines by 1980, 289 AUMs 
by 1985, and 582 AUMs by 1990. The majority of 
the losses due to mining through 1990 would occur 
on one private ranch and three Navajo Tribe- 
owned ranches. 

Other relatively minor adverse impacts resulting 
from the proposed action would include livestock 
distribution restrictions, loss of some watering 
places, livestock harassment, road mortalities, and 
disruption of one allotment management plan. 

Beneficial impacts would be realized by some 
ranchers due to improved road networks, electric 
power availability, pasture fencing for manage- 
ment, and increased water supplies. 

Wilderness 

No National Wilderness would be directly im- 
pacted by the proposed actions or related develop- 
ments. Recommendations have been proposed as a 
result of an initial inventory of the affected wilder- 
ness inventory units located within the ES Region. 
These recommendations have been presented to the 
public for their comment and review for a period 
of 90 days, commencing on January 10, 1979 and 
terminating April 10, 1979. The State Director of 
the BLM will publish his final decision on those 
initial inventory decisions on or before April 20, 



1979. Should the final decision concur with the 
present recommendations, no wilderness study 
areas or inventory units under intensive inventory 
for wilderness characteristics would be impaired by 
the proposed action. 

Inventory units affected by the SLR include ap- 
proximately 6 acres within NM-010-58 and 17 acres 
in the southwestern corner of NM-010-57 crossed 
by the Stage I 115 kv sequenced of the FCL also 
have been recommended as clearly and obviously 
unsuitable for intensive inventory. Due to a 5-mile 
wide corridor consideration, the FCL would be 
constructed to avoid other inventory units to allow 
an orderly development schedule. Those lands 
identified as qualifying for further wilderness con- 
sideration must be managed so as not to impair 
their suitability for designation as wilderness. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

Approval of the proposed action would result in 
serious impact to the archaeological and historical 
resources of the San Juan Basin. Many of the cul- 
tural remains described in Chapter II are fragile 
and easily destroyed. All are situated relatively 
near the surface. Once the soil surface is removed 
by construction or mining operations, all involved 
cultural resources would be lost. Some of the infor- 
mation value of these sites would be retained 
through professional excavations prior to terrain 
disturbance. However, the large scale of the pro- 
posed action makes it virtually impossible for exca- 
vation to be either complete or thorough. 

Impact estimates presented in this chapter in- 
clude both data from existing cultural-resource in- 
ventories and projections based on association of 
site density with terrain and vegetation features. 
Each potentially involved company has been con- 
sidered individually to allow evaluation of the data. 
It should be noted that the estimates consider only 
numbers of sites subject to direct impact. Indirect 
impact from unauthorized collecting and vandalism 
would affect additional sites. 

Impacted sites would include the entire range of 
cultural remains common to the San Juan Basin, 
from small camp sites through large pueblos. Some 
of these sites will be more archaeologically impor- 
tant than others. Because a complete inventory and 
evaluation has not been made, this discussion deals 
with numbers of sites rather than their relative 
importance. The impact estimates should be consid- 
ered tentative. Nonetheless, they provide an index 
of damage to cultural resources estimated to occur 
at 1980, 1985, and 1990 (Table IV-19). Range esti- 
mates have been used where data are inadequate. 
Complete inventories will be necessary to develop 
a more refined statement of impacts. 



IV-44 



Table 17-19 

ESTIMATED IMPACTS ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SITES 
(Ranges indicate estimated numbers) 







Number of Sites 




Development 


1980 


1985 


1990 


Arroyo #1 Mine 


1-5 


5-10 


5-10 


Carbon Coal Gamerco Mine 


40 


140 


244 


Amcoal Mine 


9 


16 


16 


McKinley Mine 


58-78 


78-129 


129-191 


San Juan Mine and San 








Juan Generating Station 


12-20 


20-35 


20-35 


Ideal Basic La Vent ana Mine 





3-12 


3-12 


Star Lake Mine 


15-35 


35-60 


60-90 


Alamito Wash Mine 


2-10 


15-25 


27-40 


South Hospah Mine 


1-5 


8-20 


20-35 


New Mexico Generating Station 


27-36 


27-36 


27-36 


Water & Transmission Lines 


5-15 


15-20 


15-20 


Bisti Mine 


5-12 


12-22 


22-45 


Star Lake Railroad 


14-39 


14-39 


14-39 


Fruitland Coal Load 


8-15 


15-25 


15-25 


Total 


197-319 


403-589 


617-838 



IV-45 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



Star Lake Railroad 

This proposal is covered in depth in the accom- 
panying site specific analysis volume. Briefly, the 
railroad would directly impact twelve sites, includ- 
ing two lithic scatters, three ceramic scatters, a 
small pueblo, three prehistoric roads, and five 
Navajo sites. Four of these sites may be eligible for 
the National Register of Historic Places. In addi- 
tion, 91 to 142 sites could be indirectly impacted. 

Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line 

This proposal also is covered more thoroughly in 
the site specific analysis. In summary, cultural re- 
sources have not yet been inventoried and cannot 
be until a centerline has been established. Stages I 
and II would encounter an unknown number of 
sites, most of which would probably be of Navajo 
and Archaic cultural affiliation. Stage III would 
again encounter primarily Navajo sites, but would 
see an increase of Anasazi sites, some of which 
may be quite large. Pierre's site complex, of Na- 
tional Register quality, is about 2 miles north of the 
proposed corridor. 

Albert Firchau, Arroyo No. 1 Mine 

Cultural resources have not been inventoried in 
the Arroyo No. 1 Mine area. The following figures 
are estimates based on work done in the region for 
the proposed Rio Puerco Livestock Grazing Man- 
agement Program (Bureau of Land Management, 
1978). A sample of fifteen square miles drawn from 
the same soil association as that of the Arroyo No. 
1 Mine indicates an average of 6.5 sites per square 
mile. Cultural affiliations include 39 percent Ana- 
sazi, 23 percent Navajo, 17 percent Archaic, 10 
percent Euro- American, and 11 percent indetermi- 
nate. Density, however, is highly variable, depend- 
ing on local terrain and other factors. Judging from 
these figures and the terrain of the Arroyo No. 1 
Mine, a range of 5 to 10 sites is estimated for the 
involved land area. Density is likely to be highest 
in the southeast and northwest quarters of the sec- 
tion. If mining occurs in these quarters, 1 to 5 sites 
may be impacted by 1980, and 5 to 10 sites may be 
impacted by 1985 and 1990. If mining is restricted 
to the northeast and northwest quarters, the totals 
should be somewhat lower. 

Carbon Coal Co., Gamerco Mine 

Two separate cultural-resource inventories were 
made for the Carbon Coal mine area by W.M. 
Harrison (1976), and Beal and Whitmore (1976) of 
the School of American Research in Santa Fe. 
When standardized for comparability, these surveys 
indicate a total of 343 sites; 55 percent are Navajo, 
19 percent are Anasazi, 13 percent are Euro- 
American, and the rest are indeterminate. Of these, 
approximately 244 sites would receive direct 



impact from mining-related activities. By 1980, ap- 
proximately 40 sites would be impacted. By 1985, 
the number increases to about 140. By 1990, all 244 
sites would have been impacted. The remaining 
sites would receive indirect impact from vandalism 
and presently unplanned work in the vicinity. The 
site density of the Carbon Coal area is high. As a 
result, impacts to archaeological and historic re- 
sources would be relatively severe. 

Aincoal, Inc., Amcoal Mine 

A portion of the Amcoal Mine Area was inven- 
toried for cultural resources through the Office of 
Contract Archaeology in Albuquerque. The report 
(Broilo, 1974) indicates that 7 Navajo and 2 Ana- 
sazi Pueblo sites would be directly impacted by 
1980. The number increases to 16 by 1985 with the 
addition of 7 more Navajo sites, and should remain 
constant through 1990. Eight of the Navajo sites 
and one of the Anasazi sites may be eligible for 
nominations to the National Register. 

Pittsburg and Midway, McKinley Mine 

Cultural resources in the mine area were inven- 
toried in 1973 by the Museum of New Mexico 
(Koczan, 1977) and in 1977 by the Navajo Tribal 
Museum (Goddard and Hartmann, 1977). A total of 
297 sites were found. Most of these are recent 
Navajo sites, but 15 to 20 percent are of Pueblo II 
Anasazi cultural affiliation. On June 2, 1978, the 
Keeper of the National Register determined that 
153 sites in the "McKinley Mine Archeological 
District" are eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Proposed impacts on 
these sites received comment from the Advisory 
Council for Historic Preservation. The sites that 
would be impacted are presently slated for archeo- 
logical sampling, after which they will be de- 
stroyed by mine action. Mitigation is contracted to 
the Office of Contract Archeology of the Universi- 
ty of New Mexico. 

PNM and Western Coal Co., San Juan Mine and 
San Juan Generating Station 

The San Juan mine area was inventoried for 
cultural resources by the Museum of New Mexico 
(MNM) in Santa Fe. The full number of late 
Navajo and lithic remains (including Archaic) may 
not be reflected in their report, so MNM figures 
have been adjusted upward. Using these adjusted 
figures, approximately 35 sites would be impacted 
by strip mining and related activities. Twelve to 
twenty sites would be impacted by 1980. The re- 
maining sites would be impacted between 1985 - 
1990. The greatest number of these would probably 
be of Navajo and Archaic cultural affiliations. 



IV-46 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



Ideal Basic Cement Co., La Ventana Mine 

Ideal Basic proposed an underground mine and 
surface disturbance would be limited to construc- 
tion of surface facilities. At present, no cultural- 
resource data are available to judge the precise 
impact of such construction. However, based on 
environmental characteristics of the area, it is an- 
ticipated that 3 to 12 sites would be impacted by 
1985. 

Chaco Energy Co., Star Lake Mine 

Mining of private and State coal would disturb 
approximately 95 percent of the land surface within 
the mine boundary. Only those cultural resources 
in the direct impact area were inventoried (Wait, 
1976). This survey indicates that 246 sites would be 
destroyed by strip mining activity. Seventy-two 
percent of these are lithic (principally Archaic and 
early Athabascan) sites. The remainder are Ana- 
sazi, Navajo, and historic Euro-American remains. 
Several particularly important sites occur in the 
area. These include a National Register quality 
pueblo (not yet listed), trading post, and mission 
graveyard. Approximately 60 additional sites may 
be of National Register quality. If projected mining 
dates are followed, 15 to 35 sites would be de- 
stroyed by 1980, 35 to 60 by 1985, and 60 to 90 by 
1990. The remainder of the sites wduld be impact- 
ed as mining continues. 

Tucson Gas and Electric, Alamito Wash Mine 

An archeological , survey of the Alamito Mine 
area is in progress. Preliminary results indicate a 
density of approximately 7 sites per square mile 
(Abbink, Personal Communication, 1977). Project- 
ed over the 26 square-mile area, approximately 182 
sites may be expected. Most of these probably will 
be Anasazi, with a few Navajo and Archaic sites. 
Site type and density, however, are not evenly 
distributed. Northwest and southeast corners 
should yield the highest site density because of 
their relatively greater relief. A major Chacoan 
outlier— Bias'ani Pueblo— is located in the northwest 
corner. During formulation of mining plans, special 
attention should be paid to protection of this and 
surrounding pueblo sites. Assuming that parts of 
both low and high density areas would be affected, 
and that the proposed mining schedule remains 
stable, 2 to 10 sites would be impacted by 1980, 15 
to 25 by 1985, and 27 to 40 by 1990. 

Chaco Energy Co., South Hospah Mine 

Cultural resource data are not available for the 
South Hospah mine. Terrain and vegetational pat- 
terns suggest similar site density as that for the 
Alamito Wash and Star Lake Mines. Given such 
densities, it can be expected that 1 to 5 sites would 
be impacted by 1980, 8 to 20 by 1985, and 20 to 35 



by 1990. The majority of these would be lithic 
sites. Anasazi and Navajo materials would also be 
impacted. At present, a total of 120 to 150 sites 
may be estimated within the mine boundary. 

PNM, New Mexico Generating Station 

The cultural resources inventory for the generat- 
ing station was not accepted by the BLM and the 
area is being reinventoried. The previous survey 
reported 18 sites in the direct impact area. Half of 
these may be eligible for the National Register. 
Sites representative of Archaic (2), Anasazi (3), 
Navajo (10), and Euro-American (3) were located. 
Until further information is made available, it is 
assumed that 27 to 36 sites would be impacted by 
powerplant construction and operation by 1980. 

Water Pipelines and Transmission Lines 

These lines involve linear terrain disturbance. 
With careful management by the companies and 
agencies involved, impacts can be minimized 
through avoidance of archaeological and historic 
sites. Avoidance, however, is not feasible in all 
cases. The number and kinds of sites affected 
cannot be determined accurately prior to firm es- 
tablishment of corridors and intensive cultural re- 
source inventories. Based on estimates from the 
railroad studies, and adjusted for differences in 
total acreage and construction techniques, 5 to 15 
sites would be impacted by 1980, and 15 to 25 by 
1985. No additional impact should occur between 
1985 and 1990. 

Western Coal Co., Bisti Mine 

The cultural resources inventory for the Bisti 
Mine was not accepted by the BLM and the area is 
being reinventoried. Results of the BLM Bisti-Star 
Lake survey (Huse, et al., 1978) have been used in 
addition to this inventory to estimate direct im- 
pacts. Based on a projected site density of 7.3 per 
square mile, 5 to 12 sites would be impacted by 
1980, 12 to 22 by 1985, and 22 to 45 by 1990. 
About 60 percent would be Navajo and 15 percent 
Archaic. A few Anasazi sites are expected to be 
encountered. Possibly one third of all the sites 
would be eligible for the National Register. 

SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS 

The proposed actions and associated mines 
would have both short- and long-term social and 
economic impacts on communities in northwestern 
New Mexico. Short-term and temporary impacts 
would stem from the construction and develop- 
ment phases of coal mines and related facilities. 
During these phases, transient labor forces would 
be employed and material purchased to construct 
each project. Socioeconomic impacts of expendi- 
tures for these purposes would be limited to the 



IV-47 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



duration of construction and development, project- 
ed at between 1 and 10 years at different sites. 
Long-term impacts would be tied to the subsequent 
operation of planned facilities, some of which 
would have design lives of forty years or more. 
Hiring and spending during the operation phase 
would provide the regional economy with a sus- 
tained stimulus, promoting lasting gains in employ- 
ment and permanent in-migration of workers and 
their families. Overall, employment is projected to 
reach its peak in 1989 and production would begin 
to decline in the 1990's. 

Projections for 1990 show the greatest relative 
change from projections of the future without the 
proposed action. Therefore, impacts in 1990 have 
been assessed as representing maximum levels and 
have been examined in the "worst-case analyses." 
Where impacts in prior years would be distinctive 
and significant, they have been explored separately. 

When viewed alone, the coal-related impacts on 
the socioeconomic conditions of the ES region 
would be most significant in the areas of popula- 
tion, employment, income, strains on infrastructure, 
and revenues generated. However, when coal-relat- 
ed impacts are compared to impacts from the total 
industrial development expected in the region (in- 
cluding uranium, oil and gas, etc.), the impacts due 
to the proposed coal-related actions would be 
slight. 

Demographic Features 

The proposed action would add a cumulative 
total of 6,350 persons, or 2.0 percent to the project- 
ed population of the five-county area by 1990, and 
would increase the population of the ES Region by 
2.9 percent above that anticipated without the pro- 
posed action (Tables IV-20 and IV-21). Most of the 
impact would be felt in the first years of the pro- 
jection, as may be seen in the tables. No impacts 
have been projected for Rio Arriba County due to 
the absence of any incorporated or major unincor- 
porated community that would accommodate in- 
migrants. The SLR would account for 12.4 percent 
of the coal related population increase by 1980 (0.5 
percent of the total population increase), and for 
1.3 and 1.0 percent of the total growth in 1985 and 
1990. The transmission line would have no appre- 
ciable effect because it would require only 35 
workers for construction. 

The cumulative effect of the proposed actions 
would be to increase annual rates of growth in the 
population of the ES Region by more than 27 
percent between 1980 and 1985, and by five per- 
cent between 1985 and 1990. This accelerated rate 
of increase would magnify present trends, increas- 
ing the relative size of urban populations and di- 
minishing the relative size of rural populations. The 
shifting balance between urban and rural popula- 



tions is projected in Table IV-22. As shown in 
Table IV-23, the most affected county would be 
McKinley, where 1990 population densities would 
increase by 3.5 percent to 14.8 inhabitants per 
square mile, compared to a projected 14.3 persons 
per square mile without the proposed actions. 

Table IV-24 presents projected populations for 
incorporated cities and villages and major unincor- 
porated communities for 1980, 1985 and 1990, in- 
cluding the proposed actions. The high percentage 
increases anticipated for Crownpoint, Prewitt, and 
Thoreau would essentially be due to their initially 
small size. In Sandoval County, Cuba's population 
would grow by 45.3 percent, reaching a maximum 
of 850 persons in the year 1990. Communities in 
San Juan County are also expected to register large 
gains in size between 1977 and 1990. 

Approximately 240 unauthorized Navajo occu- 
pants and 100 unauthorized structures have been 
identified as being on public lands within one mile 
of sites of proposed actions. An estimated 250 legal 
residents and unauthorized occupants are on pri- 
vate, Indian, State and Federal properties directly 
involved in the proposed actions (U.S.D.I., Bureau 
of Land Management, 1974; and surveys by the 
various mining companies in the region, including 
unauthorized occupants and structures on Federal 
coal lands leased by Western Coal Co. in the Bisti 
area). With the development of coal and related 
actions, both legal residents and unauthorized occu- 
pants would be forced to move to other parts of 
the Eastern Navajo Agency, to the Navajo Indian 
Reservation itself, or into the urban areas of the 
region. Relocation of both legal residents and unau- 
thorized occupants of lands to be developed would 
impose personal hardship on an estimated 250 to 
300 persons. Relocation would be negotiated in 
conformity with laws governing sale of property. 
The BLM, BIA, and Navajo Tribe are currently 
attempting to resolve the unauthorized occupancy 
question. 

Economic Conditions 

By 1990 the proposed actions would have a cu- 
mulative increase of 6,735 jobs in the five-county 
area, an addition of 6.1 percent to employment. 
Total personal income would rise by an estimated 
14.0 percent, or $142.5 million, by 1990. Table IV- 
25 shows employment impacts for the years 1980, 
1985 and 1990. The proposed actions would create 
nearly 3,360 jobs in the sectors of mining, construc- 
tion and utilities by 1990. Indirect impacts in all 
sectors would create an additional 3,380 jobs. 

Direct and indirect employment impacts of pro- 
posed actions would significantly increase the size 
of five major economic sectors by 1990 in all coun- 
ties with the exception of Rio Arriba (Table IV- 
26). As the table indicates, the contract construc- 



IV-48 



Table IV- 20 

ESTIMATED POPULATION OF THE PTVE-COUMTY AREA, 1977-1990, 
WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 











Percent 










Percent 










Percent 








1977I/ 


1977-1980 


Increase 


due 


1980! X 


1980-1985 


Increase 


due 


lgSsi 7 


1985-1990 


Increase 


due 


1990-/ 




Annual 




to Proposed 


Annual 




to Proposed 


Annual 




to Proposed 


County 


Population 


Growth 


Rate 


Actions 




Population 


Growth 


riate 


Actions 




Population 


Growth 


Rate 


Actions 




Population 


McKinley 
Rio Arriba—' 


58,000 


3-7 




2.5 




64,750 


2.1 




2.8 




72,000 


2.3 




3.5 




80,600 


28,100 


1.8 




0.0 




29,600 


1.8 




0.0 




32,350 


1.8 




0.0 




35,400 


Sandoval 


24,100 


3.4 




0.2 




26,950 


4.0 




0.6 




32,800 


4.1 




0.4 




40,250 


San Juan 


68,700 


2.6 




2.4 




74,250 


1.9 




2.5 




81,650 


2.0 




3.3 




90,350 


Valencia 


49,900 


3-5 




0.7 




55,350 


3.8 




1.0 




66,850 


3.8 




0.8 




80, 400 


Five Counties 


229,100 


3.1 




1.5 




250,900 


2.6 




1.7 




285,650 


2.7 




2.0 




327,000 



Sources: 



1/ 
2/ 



Harbridge House, Inc., 1978 

University of New Mexico, Bureau of Busines 



jnd Economic Researo 



1976 



Table IV-21 
ESTIMATED POPULATION OP THE ES REGION, 1977-1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 









Percent 




Percent 




Percent 


County or 




1977-1980 


Increase w/ 


1980-1985 


Increase w/ 


1985-1990 


Increase w/ 


Portion of 


1977 


Annual 


Proposed 1980 


Annual 


Proposed 1985 


Annual 


Proposed 1990 


County 


Population 


Growth Rate 


Actions Population 


Growth Rate 


Actions Population 


Growth Rate 


Actions Population 



McKinley 


58,000 


3.7 


2.5 


64,750 


2.1 


2.8 


72,000 


2.3 


3.5 


80,600 


Rio Arriba- 






















WesternV 


4,650 


1.1 


0.0 


4,900 


1.6 


0.0 


5,300 


1.5 


0.0 


5,700 


Sandoval- 






















WesternJ' 


3,600 


6.1 


1.2 


4,300 


4.9 


1.8 


5,450 


2.8 


2.5 


6,250 


San Juan 


68,700 


2.6 


2.4 


74,250 


1.9 


2.5 


81,650 


2.0 


3-3 


90,350 


Western^ 


27,^00 


3-9 


1.3 


30,750 


3.0 


1.4 


35,650 


3.1 


1.6 


41, 600 


ES Region 


162,350 


3-3 


2.2 


178,950 


2.3 


2.3 


200,050 


2.3 


2.9 


224,500 



Sources: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978 

1/comprises Coyote and oicarilla Census County Divisions. 

.i/ comprises Cuba Census County Division. 

2'comprises Fence Lake, Grants and Laguna Census County Divisions. 



Table IV-22 
ESTIMATED URBAN-RURAL POPULATION DISTRIBUTION IN THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA, 1977-1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 











Percent 






Percent 








Percent of 


Increase due 




Percent of 


Increase due 






Urban 


County 


to Proposed 


Rural 


County 


to Proposed 


County 


Year 


Population 


Total 


Actions 


Population 


Total 


Actions 


McKinley 


1977 


26,100 


45-0 


0.0 


31,900 


55.0 


0.0 




1980 


30,550 


47.2 


1.9 


34,200 


52.8 


(1.7) 




1985 


34,050 


47.3 


1.7 


37,950 


52.7 


(1.5) 




1990 


39,000 


48.4 


2.3 


41,600 


51.6 


(2.1) 


Rio Arriba 


1977 


5,600 


19.9 


0.0 


22,500 


80.1 


0.0 




1980 


9,200 


31.1 


0.0 


20,400 


68.9 


0.0 




1985 


12,400 


38.3 


0.0 


19,950 


61.7 


0.0 




1990 


16,000 


45.2 


0.0 


19,400 


54.8 


0.0 


_ Sandoval 


1977 





0.0 


0.0 


24,400 


100.0 


0.0 


< 


1980 





0.0 


0.0 


26,950 


100.0 


0.0 




1985 





0.0 


0.0 


32,800 


100.0 


0.0 




1990 





0.0 


0.0 


40,250 


100.0 


0.0 


San Juan 


1977 


39,900 


58.1 


0.0 


28,800 


41.9 


0.0 




1980 


45,800 


61.7 


1.1 


28,450 


38.3 


(1.8) 




1985 


53,500 


65-5 


1.0 


28,150 


34.5 


(2.0) 




1990 


60,200 


66.6 


1.1 


30,150 


33.4 


(2.1) 


Valencia 


1977 


18,900 


37.9 


0.0 


31,000 


62.1 


0.0 




1980 


24,350 


44.0 


0.5 


31,000 


56.0 


(0.4) 




1985 


28,650 


42.9 


0.5 


38,200 


57.1 


(0.3) 




1990 


33,200 


41.3 


0.7 


47,200 


58.7 


(0.5) 


Five Counties 


1977 


90,500 


39.5 


0.0 


138,600 


60.5 


0.0 




1980 


109,900 


43.8 


1.4 


141,000 


56.2 


(1.1) 




1985 


128,600 


45.0 


1.4 


157,050 


55.0 


(1.1) 




1990 


148,400 


45.4 


1.6 


178,600 


54.6 


(1.3) 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 

Note: Numbers in parenthesis indicate a decrease. 



Table IV-23 
ESTIMATED POPULATION DENSITIES IN THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA, 1980-1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 



County 


1980 

Population 

64,750 


19«0 

Density 

Population 

(persons per 

square mile) 

11.9 


Increase due 

to Proposed 

Actions 

( percent ) 

2.6 


1985 
Population 


1985 

Density 

Population 

(persons per 

square mile) 


Increase due 

to Proposed 

Actions 

(percent) 


1990 
Population 


1990 

Density 

Population 

(perse: is per 

square mile) 


Increase due 

to Proposed 
Actions 
(percent) 


McKInley 


72,000 


13.2 


3.1 


80,600 


14.8 


3.4 


Rio Arriba 


29,600 


5.1 


0.0 


32,350 


5.5 


0.0 


35,400 


6.1 


0.0 


Sandoval 


26,950 


7.3 


1.2 


32,800 


8.9 


1.1 


40,250 


10.8 


0.0 


San Juan 


7^,250 


13-5 


3-1 


81,650 


14.8 


2.1 


90,350 


16.4 


3.1 


Valencia 


55,350 


9.8 


1.0 


66,850 


11.8 , 


0.9 


80, 400 


14.2 


0.7 


Five Counties 


250,900 


9.6 


2.1 


285,650 


10.9 


1.9 


326,950 


12.5 


1.6 



Source : 



Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 



Table IV- 2 4 

ESTIMATED POPULATION OF MAJOR COMMUNITIES IN THE ES PEGION 
1977-1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 2/ 



< 









Percent 




Percent 




Percent 








Increase due 




Increase due 




Increase due 




1977 


1980 


to Proposed 


1985 


to Proposed 


199C 


to Proposed 


Community 


Population 


Population 


Actions 


Population 


Actions 


Population 


Actions 


MCKINLEY COUNTY, 
Crownpoint (U)-/ 
















3,500 


5,400 


12.5 


6,300 


11.5 


7,950 


13.6 


Gallup (C) 
Prewltt (U)-J 
Thoreau {\f)J 


18,400 


20,850 


3.5 


22,900 


3.6 


25,750 


4.9 


400 


600 


9.1 


750 


7.1 


950 


11.8 


700 


1,850 


8.8 


2,050 


7.9 


2,650 


8.2 


Zuni Pueblo (U) 


4,200 


4,300 


0.0 


4,850 


0.0 


5,300 


0.0 


SANDOVAL COUNTY 
















Cuba (V) 


550 


700 


16.6 


750 


15.4 


850 


13.3 


SAN JUAN COUNTY 
















Aztec (C) 


4,650 


6,100 


5-2 


7,000 


5.3 


8,650 


6.1 


Bloomfield (V) 


2,200 


2,850 


7.5 


3,200 


8.5 


3,800 


8.6 


Farmlngton (CL) 

Shiprock (U)J^ 


29,750 


33,900 


3.2 


36,950 


3.6 


40,800 


4.5 


5,500 


5,800 


0.0 


6,350 


0.0 


6,950 


0.0 


VALENCIA COUNTY 
















Grants (C) 


9,900 


13,700 


1.5 


15,650 


2.0 


17,950 


2.0 


Milan (V) 


3,000 


4,300 


2.4 


5,050 


2.0 


6,050 


2.5 



Sources: 1/ Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 

2/ McKlnley Area Council of Governments, 1977b. 
3/ Turney W. P . , and Associates, 1976. 

Notes: (U), unincorporated. 

(C), incorporated as city. 
(V), incorporated as village. 



Table TV-25 

ESTIMATED EMPLOYMENT IN THE FIVE COUNTY AREA, 1977-1990 WITH 

PROPOSED ACTIONS 





County 


1977 
Employment 


1980 
Employment 


Percent Increase 

due to 
Proposed Actions 


1985 
Employment 


Percent Increase 

due to 
Proposed Actions 


1990 
Employment 


Percent Increase 

due to 
Proposed Actions 


< 
■ 


McKlnley 
Rio Arriba 
Sandoval 
San Juan 
Valencia 

Five County Area 


19,236 
6,286 
5,082 

27,411 

11,491 

69,506 


22,570 
6,620 
6,080 

30,760 

14,220 

80,250 


7-0 
0.0 
0.7 

6.3 
1.3 

3-7 


27,160 
7,220 
8,150 

33,835 
19,770 

96,135 


7-6 
0.0 
0.5 
6.8 

1.0 

3-8 


3?,835 

7,880 
10,801 

38,725 
27,320 

117,570 


7-5 
0.0 
0.6 
11.6 
1.2 

6.1 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 



Table IV-26 

ESTIMATED EMPLOYMENT BY SECTOR IN THE FIVE COUNTY AREA IN 1990 WITH 

PROPOSED ACTIONS 





McKinley County 


Rio Arriba County 


Sandoval 


County 


San Juan County 


Valeni 


ia County 


Five County Area 






Percent 




Percent 




Percent 




Percent 




Percent 




Percent 






Increase 




Increase 




Increase 




Increase 




Increase 




Increase 




Number 


due to 


Number 


due to 


Number 


due to 


Number 


due to 


Number 


due to 


Number 


due to 




of 


Proposed 


of 


Proposed 


of 


Proposed 


of 


Proposed 


of 


Proposed 


of 


Proposed 


Sector 


Workers 


Actions 


Workers 


Actions 


Workers 


Actions 


Workers 


Actions 


Workers 


Actions 


Workers 


Actions 


Agriculture 


160 


0.0 


400 


0.0 


565 


0.0 


1,385 


0.7 


635 


0.0 


3,145 


0.3 


Mining 


6,840 


14.8 


40 


0.0 


370 


0.0 


2,635 


17.6 


7,085 


0.0 


16,970 


8.1 


Construction 


1,175 


6.8 


200 


0.0 


1,515 


0.3 


6,055 


32.3 


1,450 


1.4 


10,395 


17-9 


Manuf act ur ing 


1,520 


6.3 


420 


0.0 


2,200 


0.0 


1,795 


5.6 


815 


2.5 


6,750 


3.1 


Transportat ion , 


























Communicat ions 


























& Utilities 


1,385 


11.4 


230 


0.0 


635 


0.8 


4,665 


22.4 


1,365 


2.6 


8,280 


14.4 


Trade 


5,775 


10.8 


1,065 


0.0 


1,030 


3-0 


,7,240 


9-2 


6,380 


2.2 


21,490 


6.7 


Finance , Insurance 


























& Real Estate 


575 


13-9 


310 


0.0 


430 


1.2 


1,040 


7.8 


925 


1.6 


3,280 


5-3 


Services 


5,795 


4.6 


1,515 


0.0 


2,240 


0.4 


6,940 


4.1 


3,385 


1.8 


19,875 


3-1 


Government 


9,600 


4.4 


3,700 


0.0 


1,825 


0.6 


6,970 


3-3 


5,280 


1.0 


27,375 


1.8 


Total 


32,825 


7-5 


7,880 


0.0 


10,810 


0.6 


38,725 


11,6 


27,320 


1.2 


117,560 


6.1 



Source : Harbridge House , Inc . , 1978 . 



Notes: All figures ro'jnded to the nearest 5, with some sectors experiencing slight impact (1 or 2 jobs in a county) showing no impact. No impacts 
assumed for Rio Arriba County, as explained in text. 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



tion sector would be most affected, with the pro- 
jected number of construction jobs rising by 17.9 
percent. Construction of the SLR would begin in 
mid- 1979 and continue for about 30 months. The 
FCL would be constructed at intervals between 
1979 and 1984. Construction of the New Mexico 
Generating Station would occur from about 1980 
to 1992. Construction takes 12 to 24 months. In 
San Juan County, where Public Service Company 
of New Mexico (PNM) would be building the New 
Mexico Generating Station, construction employ- 
ment in 1990 would increase by 32.3 percent. Else- 
where the additional number of jobs would be an 
indirect consequence of the proposed action, prin- 
cipally in new home construction and building of 
community facilities. Employment in transporta- 
tion, communications and utilities would also rise; 
the projected gain of 14.4 percent in the five- 
county area reflects both the PNM plant and the 
Star Lake Railroad. 

Jobs in the mining sector would increase by 8.1 
percent; while 20 to 30 jobs would be created 
indirectly, 1,125 would be created directly. The 
greatest relative gains would occur in McKinley 
County, where employment in coal mining would 
rise by 177.6 percent; the increase in coal mining 
jobs in San Juan County would be 120.3 percent. 
Because of the additional employment from pro- 
posed actions, the mining sector would increase in 
size relative to other sectors from 14.2 percent to 
14.4 percent by 1990. 

The largest sectors would remain the govern- 
ment, trade and services sectors, with indirect im- 
pacts adding to jobs in each by 1.8, 6.7 and 3.1 
percent respectively. Agricultural employment is 
projected to grow marginally. However, the pro- 
posed actions would have adverse impacts on 
ranching at project sites and in their immediate 
vicinity. Sites presently are estimated to have a 
capacity of approximately 1,700 animal unit months 
(AUMs). Development and operation of mines and 
related facilities would therefore force a reduction 
of present herds or their relocation to new grazing 
areas. In the territory of the Eastern Navajo 
Agency, 97.6 percent of livestock operators were 
recently estimated to possess less than 50 animals; 
adverse impacts on agriculture would be experi- 
enced primarily by subsistence and part-time ranch- 
ers, further weakening the pastoral lifestyle of 
native inhabitants. 

The proposed action would increase total per- 
sonal income in the ES Region by 15.4 percent in 
1980, 12.3 percent in 1985, and 22.6 percent in 1990 
(Table IV-27). The greatest relative gains would 
occur in San Juan County. Per capita incomes 
would also rise, but relative increases would be 
small, as a result of worker in-migration and popu- 
lation growth. Projected per capita incomes for the 



five-county area are shown in Table IV-28. Direct 
employment and direct impacts from the proposed 
action and related county development would be 
concentrated in high-wage sectors of the economy 
~ the construction, mining, transportation, commu- 
nications and utilities sectors. A consequence of the 
disparities in income would be an increase in labor 
turnover, as has been observed in other areas with 
large-scale resource development, as employees 
leave less well paying sectors to compete for jobs 
in mining and related industries (Gilmore and Duff, 
1975). Employees in established sectors with low 
pay scales would shift to higher-paying jobs in 
mining and related industries. Impacts on agricul- 
ture would be severe, as agricultural workers and 
subsistence ranchers took higher paying jobs. How- 
ever, this would partly offset the loss of ranching 
on the mine areas. In all sectors, levels of produc- 
tivity would drop as a result of turnover, and costs 
of production would rise. Difficulties in holding 
workers would force wages and local costs of 
living to rise. The impacts on unemployment rates 
and per capita income among particular racial and 
ethnic groups are difficult to predict. The improve- 
ment and construction of roads into these parts of 
the region are ending the isolation of inhabitants 
and raising more opportunities for Indians to take 
jobs, to shop, and to obtain services in the urban 
communities. Further roadbuilding due to the pro- 
posed actions would encourage such travel. More 
important, planned developments would lead to 
population increases and employment openings in 
the territory of the Eastern Navajo Agency. 

Ultimately, developments in the area would help 
to increase business competition by adding to the 
number of sources of goods and services in the 
region, and by improving customer access to differ- 
ent vendor locations. Increased labor turnover 
could also lead to higher prices and a decline in 
productivity, as observed in southwest Wyoming 
(Gilmore and Duff, 1975). Costs of living would 
increase in both these ways, with serious conse- 
quences for persons living on fixed or subsistence 
incomes who would not be benefiting from em- 
ployment and earnings growth. Persons with low 
or fixed incomes, particularly Hispanos and Indi- 
ans, would also be adversely affected. Cost of 
living increases would be greatest during initial 
years of investment and in-migration. Not all cost 
hikes could be attributed to the proposed actions, 
since projected population increases without the 
coal-related actions would have similar effects. 

In general, the proposed action would not alter 
the structure and relationships of northwestern 
New Mexico's economy. Mining has already devel- 
oped as the economic base of the ES Region. The 
effects of the planned developments would be to 
add further to the importance of mining and the 



IV-56 



Tabl 



-£ 



ESTIMATED PERSONAL TNCOME IN THE FIVE COUNTY AREA, 1977-1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 

(in thousands of 1975 dollars) 



-J 









Percent 


Increase 




Percent 


Increase 




Percent Increase 




1977 


1980 


Dae to Proposed 


1985 


Due to Proposed 


1990 


Due to Proposed 


County 


Income 


Income 


Actions 




Income 


Actions 




Income 


Actions 


McKlnley 


169,451 


233,291 


17.2 




295,430 


11.8 




389,744 


14.3 


Rio Arriba 


49,701 


57,535 


0.0 




79,216 


0.0 




104,065 


0.0 


Sandoval 


31,833 


38,656 


2.6 




50,927 


2.0 




66,174 


2.1 


San Juan 


224,626 


311,031 


23-8 




363,958 


20.1 




450,636 


23-3 


Valencia 


88,137 


108,285 


4.8 




139,696 


3-8 




182,510 


4.1 


Five County Area 


563,748 


748,798 


15.4 




929,227 


12.3 




1,193,129 


13-6 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 



Table IV-28 
ESTIMATED PER CAPITA INCOME, FIVE COUNTY AREA, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS, 1977-1990 

(In constant 1977 dollars) 





1977 


1980 


Percent Increase 


1985 


Percent Increase 


1990 


Percent Increase 




Per Capita 


Per Capita 


Due to Proposed 


Per Capita 


Due to Proposed 


Per Capita 


Due to Proposed 


County 


Income 


Income 


Actions 


Income 


Actions 


Income 


Actions 



McKinley 


4,362 


4,801 


1.0 


5,525 


1.1 


6,399 


1.1 


Rio Arriba 


3,743 


3,995 


0.0 


4,675 


0.0 


5,270 


0.0 


Sandoval 


3,481 


3,754 


1.0 


4,187 


1.0 


4,671 


1.0 


San Juan 


5,180 


5,761 


1.2 


6,744 


1.2 


7,895 


1.2 


Valencia 


4,620 


5,184 


1.0 


6,159 


1.0 


7,317 


1.0 


Five County Area 


4,494 


4,962 


1.1 


5,772 


1.2 


6,703 


1.2 



Source: Adcock, Larry and Asscociates, 1978. 



WHllh-f IM IIffi 



Hi 



' ■' " > 1 g jC 



MHHi 



«B 






' 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



direct and indirect impacts would benefit all non- 
base industries. Mining would provide the ES Re- 
gion's principal export, either as minerals or as 
coal-fired electricity. However, present and pro- 
jected expansion of uranium mining in the region is 
far greater than the expansion of coal mining being 
proposed, and regional dependency on minerals re- 
source development is projected well into the 21st 
century even without the proposed actions. 

Community Infrastructure 

Demands on community infrastructure would be 
increased by the projected increases in population. 
In addition, direct impacts from operation of mines 
and related facilities would occur on roads leading 
to and from sites, in respect to tax revenues from 
mining companies, and as a result of accidents on 
the job which would lead to use of health care 
facilities. In general, increased funding, hiring, and 
new construction would be required to accommo- 
date projected needs. The magnitude of these needs 
due to the proposed actions, however, is small 
compared to total needs. 

Governmental Authorities 

Increased pressure would be placed on local 
governments to provide basic services to accom- 
modate growth. Need for both planning and land- 
use controls would become greater as existing com- 
munities expand, and as new communities develop. 

The costs to local governments would greatly 
exceed additional revenues in the initial years of 
investment and in-migration. Estimates of the nec- 
essary increases in spending by counties, municipal- 
ities, school, and special districts to accommodate 
growth in northwestern New Mexico and else- 
where have approximated $7.2 million per thou- 
sand new residents for the 13-year period, 1977- 
1990 (Environmental Protection Agency, 1977a; 
THK Associates, Inc., 1974). This money would 
include $3.6 million for one-time capital spending 
to build or expand facilities per thousand new in- 
habitants and $600,000 per thousand annually for 
recurrent expenses related to operation and mainte- 
nance of facilities. 

The population increases from the proposed 
action would consist of 3,800 persons by 1980 and 
a cumulative total of 6,350 additional inhabitants by 
1990. Therefore, by 1980 local governments would 
require $17.1 million in new revenues to accommo- 
date demands and by 1990 local governments 
would need approximately $45.7 million. A com- 
parison of increased costs with additional taxes 
generated by development of Federal lands indi- 
cates that local governments, unlike the State of 
New Mexico, would be confronted with a severe 
lack of available financing. 



Projected state severance tax revenues due to the 
proposed action are expected to equal $297,000 a 
year in 1980 and $3.8 million in 1990, the severance 
and conservation taxes being estimated at 1.1 per- 
cent for a value of $13.50 per ton of coal. Sever- 
ance taxes on the value of coal itself would be the 
principal form of taxation by the State. Severance 
taxes are presently paid to the State at the rate of 
38 cents per ton. Revenues to the State would go 
into three funds, one of which, the severance tax 
bonding fund, can be used to issue bonds for capi- 
tal outlays for any project specified by the state 
legislature (New Mexico State Planning Office, 
1976a). The 50 percent share of rents, royalties and 
bonuses due the Federal government from mining 
in the region would return to the State of New 
Mexico an estimated $1.6 million in 1980, $14.4 
million in 1985, and $19.0 million in 1990. Total 
revenues from this source would exceed $277 mil- 
lion over the life of all proposed leases (Harbridge 
House, Inc., 1978). 

Property taxes would be paid on the removal of 
coal, with the value of minerals extracted less cost 
of production being the basis of taxation. Coal cur- 
rently is assessed at one-third market value. In 
1977, 75 percent of the market value of coal was 
assessed. When the legal assessment ratio of one- 
third expires, coal produced would be effectively 
assessed at 25 percent of market value. At a market 
value of $13.50 per ton (constant 1977 dollars), this 
translates to a valuation of $3,375 per ton. Local 
governments would, therefore, gain an estimated 
$0.4 million annually by 1980 and $3.0 million by 
1990, at a tax rate of $40 per thousand. 

Property tax yields from residental sources 
would also grow as new housing was developed. 
At the legal assessment ratio of 33.3 percent, the 
tax payment per property would be about $330. 
With 1,865 additional housing units as a result of 
the proposed actions, local revenues would rise by 
$368,300 a year in 1980 and $615,450 by 1990. 

The cumulative projected increase in local tax 
revenues for all governments in the ES Region due 
to the proposed actions would equal approximately 
$1.7 million by 1980 and $24.0 million by 1990, 
assuming that counties, municipalities, school and 
special districts increase property and sales tax 
rates to maximum levels permitted by New Mexico 
law. By 1990, these increases in revenue would be 
insufficient to meet the projected fiscal needs of 
$45.7 million among all local governments. Howev- 
er, spending would be most needed in the late 
1970's and early 1980's when revenues would not 
have accumulated for very long. During the years 
in which in-migration and needs for new services 
and facilities would be greatest, there would be a 
serious shortfall in local government income. In 
1980, increased revenues of $1.1 million would 



IV-59 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



compare to increased costs of $17.1 million. Com- 
munities in northwestern New Mexico would be 
confronted with serious financial difficulties, and 
would be forced to borrow the needed funds com- 
mercially to the extent bonding limits would allow, 
or to seek special Federal and State assistance. 

Housing Units 

Population increases associated with the pro- 
posed action would require an additional 1,865 
housing units in the ES Region by 1990, an in- 
crease of 2.9 percent over projections without the 
proposal (Table IV-29). Recent trends in the ES 
Region suggest that 80 percent of all new homes 
would be mobile units and thus a projected total of 
1,492 mobile homes could be added to the regional 
housing stock as a result of the proposed actions. 
This preponderance of mobile units in the total 
number of dwellings reflects the problems of high 
costs and inadequate financing discussed in Chapter 
II. These problems would be especially severe for 
in-migrants, whose accrued equity in a home else- 
where might not be sufficient to purchase a similar 
dwelling in northwestern New Mexico. 

Educational Systems 

As a result of the in-migration due to the pro- 
posed action, the school-age population of the ES 
Region is projected to be 56,120 in 1990 (Table IV- 
30), an increase of 1,580 children or 2.9 percent 
over the projected population in the absence of the 
proposed actions. This growth in the school age 
population would be expected to result in a compa- 
rable growth in public school enrollments, and 
would create a need for an additional 77 teachers 
and 28 support staff members. 

Health-Care and Social Service Systems 

With expansion of coal mining in the region, 
special emphasis would need to be placed on medi- 
cal care availability at mining sites, as well as emer- 
gency transportation to full-care facilities. An in- 
crease in black lung and other emphysematious 
conditions related to coal mining can be expected. 
Projected impacts of the proposed action on the 
number of health care personnel needed in the ES 
Region to maintain adequate health care services 
through 1990 are shown in Table IV-31. All areas 
would require increases in all categories of health 
care delivery systems. In addition, some special 
services would be necessary, including mental 
health personnel and appropriate mental health 
facilities. Future needs would stem in part from 
expected social and cultural impacts. Emergency 
transport equipment staffed with trained paramed- 
ics would be required by 1980 to service the large 
number of isolated mine sites. Using present aver- 
ages of accidents per ton of coal mined, there 



would be an estimated 1,625 non-fatal mine injuries 
and 18 fatalities by 1990 (Mine Safety and Health 
Administration, written commun., 1978). 

The increase in population will result in in- 
creased needs in the social services, and agencies 
will require increased numbers of facilities and per- 
sonnel to meet these needs. 

Public Safety and Police Protection 

The generally adequate police protection ratios 
in the ES Region may be misleading because of the 
extensive and oftentimes inaccessible terrain. Table 
IV-32 indicates additional sworn police officers re- 
quired through 1990 to maintain recommended 
levels of police protection. The greatest increases 
would be required for county, State and tribal offi- 
cers in the region to patrol roads and unincorporat- 
ed areas. 

Fire Protection 

Fire protection facilities in the assessment region 
are generally adequate at present to meet the needs 
of the major population centers. Some upgrading 
and expansion of systems would be required to 
meet the needs of added population due to the 
proposed action (Table IV-32). The greatest need 
for fire protection would exist in rural areas, which 
are not now served by any fire department, but 
which would experience development. 

Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment 

With the proposed action, many local public 
service programs would either approach or exceed 
capacity by 1985. However, these programs would 
experience strains more as a result of on-going pop- 
ulation pressures than from growth due to the pro- 
posed actions. Impacts on water requirements are 
detailed in Table IV-33. Most of the now generally 
inadequate municipal systems would either exceed 
or reach the limit of their capacities by 1985. The 
original systems were not designed to meet the 
population and industrial growth brought about by 
recent and anticipated energy-related development, 
and there would be particular problems with pro- 
duction capacity, storage, and distribution. 

All municipal sewage treatment and collection 
systems in San Juan County would require some 
form of upgrading by 1985. The Farmington 
system has sufficient excess capacity to meet the 
demands of forecasted population growth with the 
proposed actions, but does not comply with Envi- 
ronmental Protection Agency standards of second- 
ary treatment, and upgrading is required. Further, 
sewer lines in Farmington are inadequate to pro- 
vide service to the existing population. Impacts of 
added people in the area would require extensive 
planning and installation of lines to city fringes as 
development occurs. Proposed programs costing 



IV-60 



Table IV-29 
ESTIMATED HOUSING NEEDS IN THE ES REGION, 1977-1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 



< 

1 

OS 





1980 


Percent 


1985 


Percent 


1990 


Percent 




Needed 


Increase due 


Needed 


Increase due 


Needed 


Increase due 




Housing 


to Proposed 


Housing 


to Proposed 


Housing 


to Proposed 


Area 


Units 


Actions 


Units 


Actions 


Units 


Actions 


McKinley County 


16,190 


2.6 


18,950 


2.8 


22,390 


3.5 


Rio Arriba County- 














Coyote & 














Ji carilla CCD's 


1,290 


0.0 


1,470 


0.0 


1,675 


0.0 


Sandoval County- 














Cuba CCD 


1,130 


0.9 


1,515 


1.0 


1,840 


2.5 


San Juan County 


20,070 


2.4 


23,330 


2-5 


27,380 


3.3 


Valencia County- 






■ 








Fence Lake, Grants 














& Laguna CCD's 


8,540 


1.3 


10,485 


0.8 


13,000 


1.6 


ES Region 


47,220 


2.2 


55,750 


2.2 


66,285 


2.9 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978 

Note: Housing units calculated on estimated average household size, from projections of U.S. Department of 
Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 



Table IV- J) 
ESTIMATED PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM NEEDS IN THE ES REGION BY 1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 



School District 



Est imated 

1990 
School Age 
Population^/ 



Teacher s^/ Percent 

Number Increase 
Needed by due to 

1990 Proposed Actions 



Support Staffg/ Percent 
Number Increase 

Needed by due to 

1990 Proposed Actions 



01 

to 



MCKINLEY COUNTY 
Gallup-McKinley 
School District 

RIO ARRIBA COUNTY 
Jemez Mountain 
School District 

SANDOVAL COUNTY 
Cuba Independent 
School District 

SAN JUAN COUNTY 
Aztec Public 
School District 
Bloomfield Municipal 

School District 
Central Consolidated 

School District 

Farmington Public 

School District 

VALENCIA COUNTY 
Grants Public 
School District 

ES REGION 



20,150 



1,425 



1,560 



960 



68 



74 



3-6 



0.0 



1,4 



2,870 


137 


3-8 


3,250 


155 


3-3 


6,910 


329 


3-5 


9,555 


455 


3-4 


10,400 


495 


1.4 


56,120 


2,673 


3-0 



453 
32 

35 

65 
73 

155 
215 

234 
1,262 



3.4 
0.0 

2.9 

4.8 
4.3 
3-3 
3-4 

1.7 
2.3 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 197 8. 



Notes : 

— Ratio applied at 25 percent of projected population, reduced to reflect smaller family sizes from 30 percent 

recommended by Environmental Protection Agency, Energy From the West , 1977. 
=! Number needed and percent Increase figures reflect accepted standards . 



Table TV-31 
ESTIMATED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM MEEDS IN TIE ES REGION BY 1990 , WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 



Area 


Estimated 

1990 
Population 


McKinley County 


80,600 


Rio Arriba County- 
Coyote & 
Jicarilla CCD's 


5,700 


Sandoval County 
Cuba CCD 


6,250 


San Juan County 


90,350 


Valencia County - 
Pence Lake, Grants 
& Laguna CCD's 


4i,6oo 


ES Region _' 


224,500 



Physicians— 

Percent 
Increase 
Number due to 

Needed by Proposed 
1990 Actions 



Registered Nurses— 

Percent 

Increase 

Number due to 

Needed by Proposed 

1990 Actions 



1/ 



Licensed . Nurses— ' 

Percent 

Increase 

Number due to 

Needed by Proposed 

1990 Actions 



Dentists^/ 

Percent 

Increase 
Number due to 
Needed by Proposed 
1990 Actions 



Hospital BedsJ / 

Percent 

Increase 

Number due to 

Needed by Proposed 

1990 Actions 



130 



3.2 



310 



3-3 



93 



3.3 



9 


0.o3/ 


22 


0.0 


7 


0.0 


10 


0.0 


24 


4.3 


7 


0.0 


145 


2.8 


348 


3.3 


104 


3.0 


67 


1.5 


160 


1.3 


48 


2.1 


361 


2.6 


864 


3 ■ 


258 


3-2 



3/ 



Source: Harbridge House, inc., 1978. 

Notes : 

— The only areas where facilities met standards were in Licensed Nurses and Hospital Beds in McKinley County 
2f By 1990, McKinley County will still have a surplus over accepted standards. 
3/ There were none for that area in 1977. 



47 



4.4 



4/ 



322 



3.52/ 



3 


0.0 y 


23 


0.0^ 


4 


0.0 


25 


4.2 


52 


2.0 


361 


3-1 


24 


0.0 


166 


1.2 


130 


2.4 


898 


3.0 



ES Region totals may not add due to rounding. 






Table IV- 32 
ESTIMATED POLICE AND FIRE PROTECTION NEEDS IN THE ES REGION BY 1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 











Percent 




Percent 




Estimated 


Policemen^/ 


Increase 


Firemen!/ 


Increase 




1990 


Number Needed 


due to 


Number Needed 


due to 


Area 


Population 


by 1990 




Proposed Actions 


by 1990 


Proposed Actions 


McKinley County 


80, 600 


161 




—2/ 


144 


3.6 


Rio Arriba County- 














Coyote & 














Jicarilla CCD's 


5,700 


11 




0.0 


10 


o.oi/ 


Sandoval County- 














Cuba CCD 


6,250 


11 




7-7 


11 


—2/ 


San Juan County 


90,350 


181 




3-4 


161 


3.2 


Valencia County- 








. 






Fence Lake, Grants 














& Laguna CCD's 


41, 600 


83 




1.2 


74 


1.4 


ES Region 


224,500 


449 




3.0 


400 


—2/ 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 



Notes :±/ Number needed and percent increase figures reflect accepted standards. 

2/ Local staffing in 1977 exceeded standards for 1990 population requirements in some areas. 
3/ No firemen reported locally in 1977. 



Table IV- 3 3 
ESTIMATED WATER SUPPLY AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT NEEDS IN THE ES REGION BY 1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 



Area 



Percent 
Estimated Water Supply! / Increase 

1990 Average Use due to 
Population (gallons/day) Proposed Actions 



"Wastewater— 7 
Treatment 
Average Use 
(gallons/day) 



Percent 
Increase 
due to 
Propose d Actions 



McKinley County 


80,600 


13,379,600 


3-5 


Rio Arriba County- 








Coyote & 








Jicarilla CCD's 


5,700 


370,500 


0.Q 


Sandoval County- 








Cuba CCD 


6,250 


406,300 


2.5 


San Juan County 


90,350 


14,998,100 


3.3 


Valencia County 








Pence Lake, Grants 








& Laguna CCD's 


41,600 


6,905,600 


1.6 


ES Region 


224,500 


36,060,100 


3-0 



4,415,300 



122,300 

134,100 
4,949,400 



2,278,800 
11,899,900 



3-5 



o.ol/ 



2.5 
3.3 



1.6 

3.0 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 



Notes :2/ Use calculated using weighted average of urban and rural per capita rates for New Mexico. 

2/ 

— Use calculated at . 333 of water supplies . 

2/ No systems existing in 1977- 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



approximately $5.5 million would be insufficient to 
handle growth due to the proposed actions, and a 
doubling of these programs would be required by 
1990 to meet demand. The Aztec sewage system is 
now at capacity and would require an expansion of 
75 percent by 1990 to meet demand. The Bloom- 
field system is currently operating far in excess of 
existing capacity and serves only 69 percent of the 
residential population. 

Solid-Waste Disposal 

Solid-waste disposal facilities in the ES Region 
have life-spans estimated to range from 4. to 10 
years (refer to Table 11-31). As those facilities are 
replaced they should be replaced to last beyond the 
1990 point of greatest demand. 

Social and Cultural Characteristics 

Impacts on the values, beliefs and lifestyles 
which influence subjective quality of life are more 
difficult to assess. Communities located near the 
sites of the proposed action and related develop- 
ments would be expected to exhibit many of the 
same characteristics as other towns in the western 
United States in which large-scale mining activity 
has created sudden booms. Attempted suicide, di- 
vorce, truancy, crime, child beating, and alcohol- 
ism have all been observed to rise dramatically in 
such boom-towns as Rock Springs and Gillette, 
Wyoming, and Craig, Colorado. Individuals inevi- 
tably suffer from the shortages of adequate housing 
and essential services, from traffic congestion, and 
from school overcrowding. Severe depression leads 
to vastly increased suicide attempts, divorces and 
truancy. In such an environment, the first issue of 
life in a boom-town becomes, as one study con- 
cluded, simply human survival at a level above 
mere existence (Kohrs, 1974; Gilmore and Duff, 
1975). 

Expectations may become self-fulfilling proph- 
ecies and say a great deal about the fears and 
attitudes of area residents. The expectations of 
Anglo respondents to interviews by Harbridge 
House concerning the proposed actions and related 
developments (on file at the Albuquerque District 
Office of BLM) are generally favorable. Hispanic 
respondents were even more favorable. Any ad- 
verse effects of the developments on the values, 
beliefs, and lifestyles of these two groups probably 
would be more readily accepted by them. 

Public Law 95-341, passed by Congress in July, 
1978, insures that Federal agencies do not abridge 
the free exercise of traditional Indian religious 
practices by policy or procedure. Data is not avail- 
able at this time to determine all activities that may 
be affected by this legislation, but development in 
the area will proceed in compliance with it. 



Anglo Residents 

If past trends continue, many of the Anglo new- 
comers who enter the five-county area to work on 
the various projects would come from metropolitan 
areas outside New Mexico. Thus, the major factor 
that would affect the cultural values and orienta- 
tions of residents would be the influx of workers 
with values and ways of life that are quite different 
from the rural/agrarian orientation of much of the 
present population. The pioneer and agrarian 
values held by native residents might conflict with 
the urban values of the newcomers. Moreover, the 
Anglo in-migrants would, for the most part, be 
alien to the tricultural society of the ES Region, 
making misunderstanding of Hispanos and Indians 
and increased conflict more likely. Table IV-34 
shows anticipated changes in population numbers 
according to language spoken. 

In addition to the conflicts of different cultures, 
there would be boom-town-related conflicts among 
Anglos. Boom-towns are characterized by few 
friendships and social ties or bonds between new- 
comers and long-time residents. The incoming 
workers would be set apart by the fact that they 
would tend to be younger, have fewer children, 
and earn more than local residents (Little, 1976). 
The transient nature of construction and mining 
jobs would further hinder the development of 
social ties. All these differences would tend to 
make social interaction more difficult. Deficiencies 
in public services, utilities, land use controls, and 
planning in the area communities would result in 
all residents experiencing an added strain in coping 
with projected growth. Such conditions have been 
associated with crime, delinquency, and the break- 
down of social norms in other boom-growth com- 
munities. As in-migrants with different values and 
expectations follow patterns of behavior different 
from those accepted by long-time residents, and 
little social interaction occurs between the two 
groups of people to help resolve conflicts, social 
conflicts and mental disorder would become more 
common and community consensus regarding 
common values and proper behavior would break 
down (Bureau of Reclamation, 1976a). 

Hispanic Residents 

The proposed actions would provide Hispanic 
residents of the ES Region with employment op- 
portunities near their present homes, and some Hi- 
spanos would be able to maintain their traditional 
ranching lifestyles and cultural values. The arrival 
of in-migrating urban Anglos would further upset 
the long-standing balance between Hispanic and 
Anglo residents. Hispanos would become a smaller 
minority group in the area, and Hispanic political 
power would be weakened. 



IV-66 



Table IV- 3 ^ 
PERCENTAGE OF INHABITANTS IN THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA BY PRIMARY LANGUAGE SPOKEN, 1977 AND 1990, WITH PROPOSED ACTIONS 





County 


Year 


Speaking 
English 


Percent 
Increase due 
to Proposed 
Actions 


Speaking 
Spanish 


Percent 
Increase due 
to Proposed 
Actions 


Speaking 
Indian 


Percent 
Increase due 
to Proposed 
Actions 


Other 




McKinley 


1977 
1990 


30.8 
36.5 


6.1 




9-7 
8.9 


(3-3) 




58.8 
53-9 


(3-4) 




•7 
• 7 


< 
■ 


Rio Arriba 


1977 
1990 


15-7 
15.2 


0.0 




68.9 
69-3 


0.0 




15-1 

15-2 


0.0 




■ 3 

• 3 




Sandoval 


1977 
1990 


28.5 
34.2 


0.9 




31.8 
29.2 


(0.3) 


- 


39-0 
35.9 


(0.6) 




• 7 

• 7 




San Juan 


1977 
1990 


58.7 
61.7 


2.0 




6-5 
6.0 


(3-2) 




34.0 
31-5 


(3-D 




.8 
.8 




Valencia 


1977 
1990 


45-3 
50.1 


0.8 




39-8 
36.4 


(0.5) 




13.9 
12.7 


(0.8) 




1.0 

.9 




Five Counties 


1977 
1990 


39-9 
44.2 


2.6 




25.8 
23.9 


(2.0) 




33-4 
31.2 


(1.9) 




.9 
.7 



Percent 
Increase due 
to Proposed 



0.0 



0.0 



0.0 



0.0 



0.0 



0.0 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc., 1978. 



Regional Analysis 



Impacts of Proposed Actions 



Indian Residents 

The proposed development will impact the earth 
itself and will thus also affect the Indian people 
with regard to their cultural belief in the sacred- 
ness of the earth. Contradictory views exist as to 
the effects of development on the extended family 
lifestyle. One view is that the availability of wage- 
work type jos will weaken the extended family. 
The other view is that the availability of wage- 
work will provide family members who have left 
the area an opportunity to get equally attractive 
jobs near the family, and thus will reunite families, 
strengthen the extended-family concept, and pro- 
vide opportunities to strengthen other cultural 
practices. Studies done in New Mexico indicate 
that the Navajo people have serious apprehensions 
about outsiders moving onto Navajo lands or into 
traditionally Navajo areas. The number of outsiders 
would increase as a result of the proposed action 
but their specific location is uncertain. 



An area of possible positive impacts for Indian 
people is in the financial or economic sector, where 
jobs with higher incomes would be available. Even 
in this sector, the Indian people do not anticipate 
many of the jobs would be held by their own 
population. The area of greatest concern for ad- 
verse impacts seem to be the utilization of the land 
and water resources considered sacred by the 
Indian people. 



IV-68 



CHAPTER V 



UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE IMPACTS 



THIS CHAPTER PRESENTS THE RESIDUAL ADVERSE IMPACTS THAT 
WOULD REMAIN AFTER APPLICATION OF MITIGATING 
MEASURES. 



CHAPTER V 
UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE IMPACTS 



This chapter presents the unavoidable adverse 
impacts in their general order of significance. Im- 
pacts on some resources would be significant local- 
ly, but would be moderate to low on a regional 
basis, considering the large extent of these re- 
sources in the region. The primary exceptions to 
this would be socioeconomic conditions and cultur- 
al resources. Impacts on geologic setting (excluding 
paleontology), aesthetics, recreation, and wilder- 
ness would be moderate to low locally, and low to 
negligible on a regional scale. 

SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS 

To the extent that the projected $13.3 million 
shortfalls in local government budgets could not be 
mitigated by assistance from State and Federal 
sources, there would be shortfalls in community 
services that would adversely affect social well- 
being. By 1990, the population of the ES Region 
would be 224,500, of which 6,350 would be due to 
the proposed actions. 

To the extent that public and private services lag 
in meeting increased population levels, quality of 
life of the resident population would be lowered. 

By 1990, the ES Region would require 66,285 
housing units, 2,673 teachers, 1,613 health care pro- 
fessionals, 898 hospital beds, 449 policemen, 400 
firemen, an average daily water supply of 
36,060,100 gallons and an average daily wastewater 
treatment of 11,899,900 gallons. Of these totals, the 
proposed action would necessitate 1,865 housing 
units (2.8 percent), 77 teachers (3 percent), 45 
health care professionals (2.8 percent), 26 hospital 
beds (2.9 percent), 13 policemen (3 percent) 11 
firemen (2.8 percent), an average daily water 
supply of 1,039,000 gallons (2.9 percent) and an 
average daily wastewater treatment of 343,000 gal- 
lons (3 percent). To the extent that these differ- 
ences cannot be achieved, adverse impacts on the 
resident population would result. 

Individuals would be adversely affected and 
social disorders would multiply in communities 
such as Farmington, Gallup, Grants and Milan. 
However, growth that is projected to occur in the 
ES Region, in the absence of the proposed actions 
also would promote the development of these 
problems. Consequently, the mines, Fruitland Coal 



Load, and Star Lake Railroad would contribute a 
small percentage (usually less than 5.5) to negative 
social conditions apparent in the study area. 

The small-town atmosphere and close personal 
contacts valued by long-time residents of communi- 
ties in the region would be lost as cities (Farming- 
ton, Gallup) and villages (Bloomfield, Thoreau) 
grew in size. The beneficial effects of development 
could be below the expectations of local residents, 
and the lack of facilities and urban amenitites 
would dissatisfy some newcomers. 

In-migration of urban Anglos from outside New 
Mexico would increase the minority status of the 
native Hispanos and Indians. Different values and 
objectives between long-time Anglo inhabitants 
and newcomers, and between Anglos, Hispanos, 
and Indians would result in increased conflicts. 

Hispanos and Indians would encounter growing 
social and economic pressure to conform to Anglo 
values and lifestyles. Adverse impacts on the well- 
being of individuals, including disorderly conduct, 
alcoholism, and psychological distress, would be 
likely to result, particularly in the border towns of 
Farmington and Gallup. For the Navajo, the 
mining of properties in their midst would affect 
spiritual values, but the extent of this intrusion 
cannot be predicted. 

Should Hispanos and Indians not directly benefit 
from the proposed actions, feelings of deprivation 
and hostility could result. The relocation of legal 
and illegal occupants from lands involved in 
planned actions would be unavoidable. There 
would also be several unavoidable adverse eco- 
nomic effects on the region. Residents living on 
fixed incomes and those in lower-income brackets 
would be hurt by increases in the cost of living 
resulting from the development. 

The Navajo people who live in the area value 
the isolated, pastoral lifestyle that is their tradition. 
There is no known way to mitigate the impacts of 
wagework and industry on this lifestyle. In addi- 
tion to these cultural impacts, the standard of living 
would be lowered because income is not likely to 
increase to meet the higher cost of living. 

The proposed actions would have unavoidable 
adverse impacts on health and safety. Accidents at 
coal mines would result in an estimated 1,625 non- 
fatal coal mine injuries and 18 fatalities by 1990, 



V-l 



Regional Analysis 



Unavoidable Adverse Impacts 



according to statistics of the Mining Safety and 
Health Administration (written commun., 1978). 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

The entire range of cultural resources common 
to the San Juan Basin from Paleo-Indian to historic 
Navajo and Euro-American (see Chapter II) would 
be subject to direct or indirect impact. Of these, 
546 to 718 would be impacted as a result of the 
proposed actions and 71 to 120 by related coal 
development. It is estimated that 617 to 838 sites, 
primarily of Navajo and Anasazi cultural affiliation 
would be unavoidably impacted by 1990. (See 
Chapter IV for breakdown of sites by develop- 
ment.) The Pittsburg and Midway McKinley Mine 
Archaeological District (153 sites) has been de- 
clared eligible for the National Register of Historic 
Places, and Bias'ani Pueblo on the Alamito Mine 
site has been nominated to the register. Many 
mining operations would not be terminated by 
1990. As a result, total impacts from the develop- 
ment would be greater than the 1990 figures. In 
addition, the figures do not reflect damage from 
unauthorized collection or vandalism, nor do they 
address the significance of the sites impacted. 

Even with well-organized mitigation procedures, 
certain adverse impacts to cultural resources are 
unavoidable. It is not feasible to excavate all sites, 
and it is not always possible to determine in ad- 
vance which sites are preferable for excavation. 
Any unexcavated sites would be permanently lost. 
In most cases, mitigation is limited to testing and 
partial excavation, with an accompanying loss of 
data. Research would be restricted largely to pro- 
cedures and orientations popular at the time of 
mitigation. If mitigation is not accomplished ac- 
cording to a problem-oriented research design rele- 
vant to major archeological concerns in the San 
Juan region, the information gained would be 
greatly lessened in its value to the archeological 
community. It would, in that case, be more de- 
scriptive than explanatory of cultural processes. 
Because the sites would be destroyed after mitiga- 
tion, they cannot later be re-examined for informa- 
tion guided by different questions or procedures, 
nor can the previous data be reconfirmed. As a 
result, loss of information and the physical site 
must be considered unavoidable impacts of the pro- 
posed actions. Although material may be removed 
and stored, loss of original context negatively af- 
fects the basis for making informed analyses. Final- 
ly, the public interpretative value of cultural re- 
sources is diminished by loss of site locations. 

AIR QUALITY 

Increased emissions of particulates from mines 
would be unavoidable. These emissions would 



seldom increase the annual average concentrations 
of total suspended particulates (TSP) 5 u-g/m 3 
above baseline three miles from the source. The 
maximum 24-hour concentrations of TSP would be 
less than 20 /xg/m 3 above baseline at this distance. 

TSP concentrations at Farmington and near the 
San Juan Mine would continue to exceed New 
Mexico standards as has happened in the past. 

The annual and worst-case 24-hour visibilities 
will be decreased by one to five miles within two 
miles of mines and by about one mile in the town. 

Population increases would result in increased 
TSP, S0 2 , and NO a emissions of about five percent 
in Farmington and Gallup, and about 1 1 percent in 
Crownpoint. The size of the area affected by these 
emissions would increase because of large quanti- 
ties of emissions and increased dimensions of the 
urban areas. No violations of ambient air quality 
standards are expected for Gallup and Crownpoint. 

At Chaco Canyon National Monument, the 
maximum 24-hour concentration of S0 2 would in- 
crease 2 and 6 /xg/m 3 in 1985 and 1990. TSP con- 
centrations would increase less than 1 u-g/m 3 . 
There would be no change in the worst-case 1- 
hour visibility. 

SOILS 

As a result of the proposed actions and related 
development, soils would be disturbed on about 
17,950 acres (0.4 percent of the ES Region). This 
compares to the total disturbance from all causes of 
28,000 acres expected by 1990. During construction 
of the Star Lake Railroad, an estimated 2,854 acres 
would be disturbed, of which 1,272 acres would be 
covered by ballast, fill material and service road, or 
excavated for cuts and borrow material. Secondary 
mining development dependent upon the railroad 
would disturb about 7,295 acres by 1990. Construc- 
tion of the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line 
would disturb an estimated 307 acres, of which 48 
acres would be covered by switching stations, sub- 
stations and poles. Secondary development depend- 
ent upon the transmission line would disturb about 
12,663 acres by 1990, of which 5,170 acres are 
included in those dependent upon the railroad. 

Productivity of the disturbed soil would be low- 
ered by compaction, mixing of native soils, and 
accelerated erosion. Alteration of the soil charac- 
teristics would result in the formation of new soils 
with characteristics unlike those prior to disturb- 
ance. An increase in soil productivity would occur 
with the application of soil amendments and irriga- 
tion during the reclamation process. However, 
once such practices terminate, the productivity of 
the soil would decrease. Efforts to reclaim strip- 
mines in northwest New Mexico have only been 
made since 1968. Consequently, studies in the area 



V-2 



Regional Analysis 

have not been able to determine the long range 
effects on soil productivity. 

VEGETATION 

Native vegetation would be removed from about 
17,950 acres by 1990 as a result of the proposed 
actions and related development. Other actions 
would disturb an additional 10,050 acres. The vege- 
tation types removed would be 52 percent grass- 
land, 23 percent sagebrush, 9 percent barren, 2 
percent pinyon-juniper, 5 percent saltbush- 
greasewood, and 9 percent undetermined. 

About 5,360 acres of land disturbed by the pro- 
posed actions would be reclaimed by 1990, but 
vegetative communities established as a result of 
reclamation would not all be the same as before the 
disturbance occurred. A net shift of vegetation 
types from woodland or shrub types to grassland 
or mixed grassland-shrub types is expected on 
about 3,910 acres. 

The vegetative productivity would be lost from 
the time of disturbance until reclamation is com- 
pleted, and stability of plant communities would be 
decreased for an undeterminable period of time. 
Community stability would increase as succession 
progressed toward climax, but during this time in- 
tensive grazing management would be required. 

GRAZING 

Loss of 640 AUMs, of the 368,000 AUMs in the 
region, resulting from the non-mining operations 
would affect 25 grazing allotments in varying de- 
grees. Within five years after the end of construc- 
tion, 46 AUMs would be recovered by revegeta- 
tion of portions of the disturbed areas. The remain- 
ing 594 AUMs would be lost for the life of the 
projects, affording a low adverse impact on the 
resource, considering the highest loss by any one 
allottee would be 66 AUMs. Minor adverse im- 
pacts due to the proposals include livestock distri- 
bution restrictions, loss of some watering sites, live- 
stock harrasment, livestock road mortalities, and 
disruption of one allotment management plan. 

WILDLIFE 

The loss of 17,950 acres of habitat from removal 
of topsoil and vegetation due to the proposed ac- 
tions would have serious local impacts on wildlife. 
In particular, small or less mobile animals, such as 
rodents, reptiles, some amphibians, and arthropods 
that occupy limited territories would be affected. 

Direct impacts would include increased mortali- 
ties from construction and operation activities, in- 
creased vehicular traffic, and urban growth; disrup- 
tion of animal activity by construction noises; and 
loss of escape cover, and feeding and nesting habi- 



Unavoidable Adverse Impacts 

tat. These impacts would result in changes in spe- 
cies composition, population structure, and carry- 
ing capacity of the ecosystem. 

TRANSPORTATION 

Implementation of the proposed actions would 
increase rail traffic both within and outside the ES 
Region, and would add significant volumes of traf- 
fic to the regional road system. 

The addition of nearly 7,000 motor vehicles 
would increase congestion in the urban areas and 
hasten the deterioration of many of the roads. 
There also would be an increase in accidents, espe- 
cially those involving livestock and wildlife. 

Transportation by rail of coal produced as a 
result of the proposed actions would require an 
average of 13.3 trains per day out of an estimated 
total traffic of 60 trains per day. They would use 
about 40 million gallons of diesel fuel annually and 
add exhaust emissions and fugitive dust to the air. 
However, neither of these is expected to be signifi- 
cant regionally. The increased rail traffic would 
also cause delays of about 5 minutes at a time at 
grade crossings, as well as a slight increase in acci- 
dents. 

PALEONTOLOGY 

Construction of the railroad (120 acres), trans- 
mission line (160 acres) and mines would result in 
an unavoidable loss of 7,000 acres of currently 
available surface exposures, some of which would 
contain fossils. By 1990, 12 to 19 sites would have 
been disturbed by the action, and 500 to 740 sites 
by related development out of a total of 1,150 to 
1,475 sites disturbed by all causes. The exact mag- 
nitude of these unavoidable impacts is very difficult 
to quantify, but based on professional experience, 
as much as 50 percent of the fossils in disturbed 
materials would probably go unnoticed and unsam- 
pled. This magnitude of impact would be insignifi- 
cant for plant and invertebrate fossils, where a 
sample of 1 or 2 percent is sufficient. However, the 
impact on fossil vertebrates would be significantly 
higher because such materials are rarer, and typi- 
cally occur in highly localized deposits. Consider- 
ing the regional surface and subsurface extent of 
the strata, a very small amount of potential fossil- 
bearing rocks would be disturbed. However, local- 
ized disturbance would be severe and would be 
substantially limited to surface exposures which 
contain the available paleontologic resource. 

While some unavoidable impacts would result 
from the intrusion of construction, maintenance, 
and operational personnel into the area, more sub- 
stantial unavoidable impacts would result from the 
population increases related to coal development. 
Increases would be anticipated in the unauthorized 



V-3 



Regional Analysis 



Unavoidable Adverse Impacts 



removal of fossil materials and in destruction of 
fossils by vandalism, but quantification of this 
impact from current data is impossible. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

Coal resources in the region would be reduced 
by 346 million tons by 1990, including 58 million 
tons lost during mining and processing. This is 
about 6 percent of the estimated strippable coal 
reserves of the San Juan Basin. Coal development 
could conflict with development of oil and gas 
resources on 224,526 acres and uranium on 45,982 
acres. Holders of rights to these minerals would be 
hampered or prohibited from developing them 
while coal was being mined. 

WATER RESOURCES 

The current estimated annual water use of 
350,000 acre-feet is expected to increase to about 
700,000 acre-feet by 1990. Of this increase, nearly 
60,000 acre-feet would result from the proposed 
actions and related developments. 

Because the surface-water resources of the 
region are totally appropriated, most of this water 
would come from ground-water resources, mainly 
from the Entrada and Gallup Sandstones and the 
Westwater Canyon Member of the Morrison For- 
mation. Pumping this quantity of water from these 
aquifers would lower the head in them as much as 
500 or 600 feet at some of the wells. Effects of this 
pumping would be noticeable at least as far as 20 
miles from the pumping centers. Nearly all this 
head decline would be from pumping at the coal 
and uranium mines. Because there is little ground- 
water development in the area, this lowering of 
heads in the aquifers probably would not affect 
other users of ground water. The SLR would not 
pump enough water, once construction is finished, 
to noticeably affect the heads except in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of the pumping well. The FCL would 
only require about 5 acre-feet a year. The increased 
demand for domestic water would be spread out 
among the communities of northwestern New 
Mexico and private wells. Any lowering of water 
levels due to subsidence Assuring could be counter- 
acted by deepening the wells or lowering pumps. 
Once mining is finished and pumping ceases, the 
heads would gradually return to their normal levels 
over a period of many years as natural recharge 
slowly replaces the water pumped out. 

Nearly all the water used would be lost to the 
atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration. None 
of the proposed developments plan to discharge 
waste water to the streams. Any accidental dis- 
charge probably would not reach a perennial 
stream. 



It would be necessary to locally disrupt minor 
aquifers in the area during strip mining. It is prob- 
able that hydraulic continuity will be reestablished 
following reclamation. The impacts would be 
minor, in any case, because the aquifers generally 
are not utilized. 

The destruction of surface channels in active 
mine areas as listed in Table IV-8, cannot be avoid- 
ed. After the area has been reclaimed and the chan- 
nels have stabilized, they should be similar to the 
pre-mining condition. 

There would be some unavoidable increases in 
sediment discharge resulting from the proposed ac- 
tions and related mining activities. By 1990 this 
would amount to about 43,400 tons per year from 
the SLR, 150 tons per year from the FCL, from 
4,000 to as much as 16,000 tons per year from the 
mines, and 3,700 tons per year from the New 
Mexico Generating Station, compared to an esti- 
mated 2.5 to 3.0 million tons per year of natural 
discharge. 

GEOLOGIC SETTING 

Topography on about 17,950 acres would be al- 
tered slightly by 1990 as a result of the proposed 
actions and related development. Construction of 
the railroad would more severely alter the topogra- 
phy on 2,854 acres in a long narrow band, and the 
powerline would alter 307 acres. 

During strip mining, the coal beds and overlying 
strata would be removed, and natural exposures 
would be replaced by graded spoils. Underground 
mining would remove the coal beds, and would 
affect overlying strata if collapse should occur. 
Construction of coal-related facilities and the rail- 
road would cover parts of most of the geologic 
units in the area. Considering the large extent of 
these units, the overall adverse impact would be 
very slight. 

The open pits and highwalls created during 
mining would have a potential for collapse, as 
would the underground mines. Fresh exposures of 
coal might catch fire under favorable conditions. 
Cuts and fills along the railroad would be subject 
to slumping, rock falls, and differential compaction. 

AESTHETICS 

Noise generated by construction equipment, op- 
eration of the train, and operation of mines would 
at times exceed the 55 ^ level within 200 feet of 
the source of the noise, even with proper noise 
suppression equipment. This would result in both 
an increase in frequency of higher noise levels and 
a general increase in noise levels above that of the 
quiet rural setting that now exists. 

There would be a decrease in average annual 
visibility from 53 to 44 miles in the Gallup area by 



V-4 



Regional Analysis 

1990. Elsewhere in the ES Region there would be 
smaller decreases in visibility near sources of emis- 
sions, but the overall visibility would remain about 
the same. 

Implementation of the proposed actions would 
generate some unavoidable modifications to land- 
forms and vegetation on approximately 1,320 acres 
along with the introduction of new structures. The 
contrasts created by the proposed actions would 
vary with the specific activity, location, and exist- 
ing landscape features, resulting in an unavoidable 
Class V category for all disturbed areas. However, 
this would be less than 1 percent of the ES Region. 

LAND USE 

Recreation 

The removal of vegetation, disturbance of soil, 
introduction of people, equipment and structures, 
and the resultant pollution (as discussed in the pre- 
ceeding sections of this chapter) would reduce the 
quality of the recreation resource. Recreationists 
would be displaced in areas of development. The 
remote, primitive character of the region would be 
reduced locally, and people seeking this value 



Unavoidable Adverse Impacts 

would be discouraged from using impacted areas. 
Increased population would reduce the quality of 
the recreation experience in areas that become 
overused. 

Wilderness 

Should the State Director's final decision on the 
initial wilderness inventory concur with present 
recommendations, the implementation of the pro- 
posed actions would not result in any unavoidable 
loss of wilderness values. All areas under intensive 
inventory to determine their qualifications for wil- 
derness study area status would be avoided. 



V-5 



CHAPTER VI 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SHORT-TERM USES 
AND LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY OF THE 
ENVIRONMENT 



THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES THE EXTENT OF LONG-TERM IMPAIRMENT 
OR ENHANCEMENT OF RESOURCE PRODUCTIVITY THAT WOULD 
OCCUR AS A RESULT OF THE SHORT-TERM USES OF THE 
ENVIRONMENT. 



CHAPTER VI 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SHORT-TERM USES AND LONG-TERM 
PRODUCTIVITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT 



The region has an extensive base of existing de- 
velopment - coal, uranium, oil and gas, coal-fired 
electric generation, irrigated agriculture, and tour- 
ism. Most of these are projected to expand signifi- 
cantly during the next few years, even without the 
proposed railroad and power line. Construction of 
these two facilities would provide transportation 
and utility access, permitting development and 
transport of coal resources from the Fruitland For- 
mation to market. The area thus opened up con- 
tains over 6 billion tons of strippable coal, suffi- 
cient reserves for over 100 years of production at 
projected rates. 

On a regional basis, projected development in 
response to national energy needs will increase coal 
production from a present 4.7 million tons per year 
to 31 million tons per year (at the mid-level of 
production) by 1990 (an increase of 7 mines by 
1985, decreasing to 5 additional mines by 1990). 
Production could then either level off or continue 
to increase beyond the 1990 projection, depending 
on market demands and Federal permitting, regula- 
tory, and coal-leasing policies. There are ample 
coal reserves in the region for nearly 200 years of 
production at the 1990 figure. As reserves at indi- 
vidual mines are depleted, other mines could be 
developed to continue the production and absorb 
the labor force. 

The community development, transportation and 
related facilities represent permanent commitments. 
Under certain conditions, the mine areas can be 
reclaimed and restored to former uses once produc- 
tion ceases, but a substantial acreage would be lost 
to other uses at any given time. 

Since the ES Region would experience popula- 
tion increases and economic growth even without 
the proposed actions, the planned developments 
would slightly accelerate rates of change and con- 
tribute to socioeconomic problems. 

The proposed actions would provide employ- 
ment directly and indirectly to 6,735 workers, and 
economically support as many as 1,865 households, 
thereby enhancing the long-term productivity of 
the region. However, community services and 
facilities would be strained as demands from in- 
creasing populations exceed capacities. It is expect- 



ed that increased traffic congestion, urban crowd- 
ing, most crimes, alcoholism, and mental problems 
would be short-term effects that would be resolved 
as communities stabilized. In the long-term, as local 
government revenues increased, the economic situ- 
ation would stabilize at new levels of use and need. 
However, the Hispanic and Indian cultures could 
be weakened by assimilation in the job market and 
by the increasing population density of Anglos. 

Other industries in the region would be subjected 
to short-term instability and adverse impacts from 
increased labor turnover. People on fixed income, 
retirees, and agricultural workers would face in- 
creased living costs with no commensurate increase 
in income. If changing market conditions were to 
cause a substantial drop in the demand for the 
region's coal, the region could experience adverse 
economic effects which would be tempered to 
some degree by agriculture, tourism, and develop- 
ment of other mineral resources. 

Development of mine operations and ancillary 
facilities would result in increased rail and highway 
use to move construction workers and necessary 
materials to the various construction sites. All facil- 
ities developed for short-term purposes would con- 
tinue to be used over the long term. Once in place, 
these facilities (specifically, access roads and the 
railroad) would serve to increase the long-term 
transportation productivity of the region. 

Cultural and paleontological resources are fragile 
and nonrenewable. Construction activities, coal 
mining, and other regional development would 
result in the permanent loss of all cultural and 
paleontological resources impacted by these oper- 
ations. Short-term use of these resources through 
mitigation excavations would yield some informa- 
tion for research from these sites. The actual site 
localities, however, would not be available for 
long-term research or interpretive uses through im- 
proved technology. In addition, indirect impacts 
such as increased population and accompanying 
vandalism and unauthorized collecting would con- 
tinue to affect sites throughout the region, resulting 
in the permanent loss of surface and some subsur- 
face cultural and paleontological materials. 



VI-1 



Regional Analysis 

The annual use of 59,000 acre-feet of water by 
1990 would not seriously affect other users of 
water because most of the water would come from 
ground-water sources in areas where the ground 
water has not been developed. The surface-water 
resources of the region are already fully appropri- 
ated, and any use of surface water by coal-related 
development would require adjustment of existing 
appropriations. Water-level declines caused by 
pumping would slowly return to normal levels 
through natural recharge once pumping ceases. 

Regional development through 1990 is expected 
to affect 28,000 acres, resulting in reduced soil pro- 
ductivity, temporary (and, in some cases, perma- 
nent) vegetation and wildlife habitat loss, and in- 
creased erosion. Short-term construction and 
mining activities associated with the proposed ac- 
tions would reduce productivity of the soils on an 
estimated 17,950 acres (0.4 percent of the region). 
Development of soils and re-establishment of pro- 
ductivity would be a slow process due to the se- 
miarid conditions. Reclamation experience in the 
region has not been of sufficient duration for stud- 
ies to determine the long-range effects on soil pro- 
ductivity. 

As a result of the proposed actions, there would 
be a loss of vegetation on 17,950 acres and an 
accompanying disturbance of wildlife habitat. In- 
creased human activity and off-road vehicular use 
would result in reduced habitat during the short 
term for certain wildlife (rodents, raptors, reptiles 
and amphibians). Remnant antelope herds (estimat- 
ed at less than 125 animals) are not expected to 
recover fully to their present numbers. The great- 
est percentage of impacted wildlife species would 
be those that occupy short-grass/desert shrub habi- 
tat. In the long-term, a permanent loss of the native 
vegetation on 2,950 acres devoted to community 
development and permanent structures would 
occur. Stable climax plant communities would also 
be lost for variable lengths of time (up to several 
centuries), as secondary succession occurs on re- 
claimed lands. The long-term effect of the short- 
term uses depends largely on the magnitude and 
success of the soil stabilization and revegetation 
program in restoring the region to full production. 



Short-Term Uses and Long-Term Productivity 

Increased traffic noise and road dislocations re- 
lated to construction would be short-lived - a few 
months or years at each site. However, the oper- 
ation of the railroad and mines would result in 
longer-term noise, increased traffic conflicts, and 
aesthetic impacts for the duration of operations. 
Some alterations of the landscape character would 
result in long-term reduction in the value of visual 
resources, as these changes would continue to be 
evident as man-made intrusions rather than natural 
occurrences even after operations cease. 

During the short term, the greatest impacts to 
recreation would occur due to elements of devel- 
opment such as soil disturbance, increases in popu- 
lation, and pollution. The success of reclamation 
would determine the ultimate long-term recreation 
use of disturbed areas. 

There would be a short-term loss of 1,605 AUMs 
of forage due to the proposed actions. Within 5 
years after the end of construction, 1,011 AUMs 
would be returned through revegetation or ex- 
change of use in undisturbed areas. In the long- 
term, 594 AUMs would be lost for the life of the 
projects from areas covered by structures and areas 
removed from grazing. The permanent loss of 594 
AUMs would not constitute any change in live- 
stock grazing practices of the region, since no 
more than 6 animal units would be lost by any 
livestock operator. 

No long-term reduction or loss in wilderness 
values is expected as a result of short-term impacts 
from the proposed actions. 



VI-2 



CHAPTER VII 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE 
COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 



THIS CHAPTER IDENTIFIES THOSE RESOURCES THAT WOULD BE 
CONSUMED AND PERMANENTLY LOST AS A RESULT OF 
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROPOSED AND POSSIBLE FUTURE 
FEDERAL ACTIONS. 



CHAPTER VII 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF 

RESOURCES 



About 1,150 to 1,480 fossil localities and about 
620 to 840 archaeological and historic sites would 
be unstudied or only partially studied and de- 
stroyed as a result of the proposed actions. This is 
a small portion of the total number of sites in the 
area. If any sites are unique and are not recovered, 
the loss of information would be irretrievable. 

Approximately 288 million tons of coal would be 
produced and consumed as a result of the proposed 
actions and related developments, and an estimated 
58 million tons would be lost due to current mining 
methods out of a strippable reserve of 6.3 billion 
tons. 

The proposed actions and related developments 
would add to the loss of the small-town atmos- 
phere and way of life. Certain distinctive aspects of 
the Indian and Hispanic cultures in the area would 
be lost. A cumulative total of 6,350 persons would 
be added to the ES Region from the proposed 
actions. An additional burden would be placed on 
the already strained service facilities of the commu- 
nities in the ES Region. The proposed actions 
would only partially add to these problems, how- 
ever, because the other developments in the ES 
Region will cause even greater changes. Energy in 
the form of petroleum products and electricity 
would be expended to obtain coal and would be 
consumed by the increased population. 

A projected 30 persons would die in fatal acci- 
dents over the design lives of the mines and associ- 
ated operations. 

Increased urbanization of the ES Region result- 
ing from the proposed actions would irretrievably 
increase ambient pollutant concentrations. The air- 
quality impact caused by urbanization would be 
reversible to the extent that the population associat- 
ed with surface mining would move out of the 
region if the mining ceases. 

Materials such as steel, aluminum and copper 
used for the railroad, the transmission line, and in 
the manufacturing of mining machinery and build- 
ings would be committed for the life of the various 
projects, but much of it would be salvageable upon 
abandonment. An undetermined but large amount 



of sand, gravel, crushed rock, and other mineral 
resources for fill, ballast and aggregate would be 
required for the railroad, access roads, and in the 
construction of buildings, the generating station, 
and other support facilities, but these materials are 
plentiful in the region. 

The sediment discharges from surface erosion 
would be 179,000 tons per year for the construc- 
tion period and 58,000 tons per year thereafter 
from the SLR, 1,070 tons per year from the FCL, 
and an average of 13,700 tons per year per mine 
compared to a natural discharge of 2.5 to 3.0 mil- 
lion tons per year. Water requirements for the pro- 
posed actions would be 59,000 acre-feet per year. 
Existing soil associations and characteristics such 
as soil productivity would be lost on an estimated 
16,140 acres of the 17,950 acres disturbed. Vegeta- 
tive production from and wildlife densities and 
habitats on 15,000 acres on which the vegetation 
would be destroyed or disturbed would be lost 
until such time as reclamation returns the produc- 
tivity to at least that of the present communities. 
Additionally, the vegetative production from 2,950 
acres of land devoted to community development 
and structures by 1990 would be lost permanently. 
These losses compare to the 4.8 million acres in the 
ES Region. 

Once the proposed actions were initiated, the 
potential for solitude and unconfined recreational 
opportunities would be lost. Recreational activities 
such as off-road vehicle use would be restricted by 
controlled access by rights-of-way and other devel- 
opments. 

Forage production of 594 AUMs would be per- 
manently lost and an additional 1,011 AUMs lost 
for the life of the proposed actions of a total of 
368,000 AUMs for the area. One allotment manage- 
ment plan, entering into its third grazing cycle, 
would be lost due to disruption of the pasture 
rotation system. 

No wilderness inventory units undergoing inten- 
sive inventory or considered for further wilderness 
study would be irreversibly or irretrievably lost if 
the State Director concurs with the initial wilder- 
ness inventory recommendations. 



VIM 



CHAPTER VIII 



ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 



THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES TO THE 
PROPOSED ACTIONS. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ALTERNATIVES 
ARE DISCUSSED TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY WOULD DIFFER FROM 
THE IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED ACTIONS. 



CHAPTER VIII 
ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED ACTIONS 



INTRODUCTION 



General 



This regional ES evaluates the impacts of pro- 
jected coal-related development in the Star Lake- 
Bisti Region. The production level evaluated as 
resulting from this development is dependent in 
part on Federal approval of mining and reclama- 
tion plans on existing Federal leases and, in some 
cases, approval of short-term competitive leases 
under agreed-upon criteria. However, the Secre- 
tary of the Interior is not proposing a particular 
production level for coal in this ES Region. In- 
stead, he is considering actions within his authority 
that will allow Federal coal to be available where 
needed and under environmentally acceptable con- 
ditions to meet market demands and the energy 
needs of the Nation. The approval actions under 
review at this time are being considered in this 
context. 

In this ES, decisions regarding rights-of-way and 
coal-related actions are considered on a regional 
basis. Future site-specific statements will evaluate 
specific actions for individual coal-mine proposals. 
Thus, alternatives for the rights-of-way and coal- 
related actions are evaluated on an aggregate basis 
in this statement, providing a means of responding 
to regional or sub-regional environmental problems 
or social and economic concerns. 

Review of the rights-of-way applications includ- 
ed in this statement indicates that the following 
administrative alternatives are appropriate for con- 
sideration: no action, approval (evaluated as the 
proposed action), and approval subject to specific 
modifications or requirements (evaluated as the 
partial action and phased development alterna- 
tives). The phased development alternative has 
been incorporated as a result of its suggestion 
during the public review process. 

Development of alternative sources of energy, 
energy conservation, Federal development of the 
coal, and emphasis on coal development in other 
regions of the U.S. are more appropriate for con- 
sideration on a program rather than a regional 
basis. These evaluations were made in the previous 
coal programmatic statement and will be updated 
and revised as necessary in the new coal program- 
matic statement now underway. 



Regional Alternatives 

Three regional alternatives are available with 
regard to coal-related development in the Star 
Lake-Bisti Region. These are the no-action alterna- 
tive whereby neither the railroad nor the transmis- 
sion line would be built, the partial-action alterna- 
tive under which only Stage I of the transmission 
line would be built, and the phased development 
alternative in which construction of the railroad 
segment from Pueblo Pintado to Bisti would be 
delayed. In addition, several regional transportation 
alternatives are discussed including alternative rail- 
road routes and alternative transportation methods. 
In discussing all the alternatives, only significant 
impacts are included. 

Production Levels 

A "best estimate" as to the probable production 
level resulting from the proposed action was used 
as a basis for evaluation of cumulative impacts 
from coal development within the region. Actual 
production levels attained will depend on demand 
as well as availability of the coal. Factors influenc- 
ing production levels in this region include access 
and economics in relation to other coal sources, 
transportation, local and State as well as Federal 
approvals, reclamation requirements, and pollution- 
control requirements and technology. Availability 
of the coal resource to meet market demands or 
production could well occur at a significantly 
lower or higher level than the level assessed. 
Lower levels of production are discussed under the 
no-action, partial-action, and phased development 
alternatives. A full-development scenario is includ- 
ed to evaluate areas of environmental concern or 
impact sensitivity at a higher level of coal produc- 
tion. Summary information comparing two of the 
three alternatives and the scenario to the proposed 
action is presented in Tables VIII- 1 through VIII- 
8. The phased development alternative was sug- 
gested during the public review process and does 
not appear in the tables. It is described in the text, 
however. Only significant impacts are discussed in 
this chapter. If a resource is not impacted it is not 
discussed. 



VIII-1 



Table VIII-1 

COAL PRODUCTION 
(Thousands of Tons^ 





1977 


1980 


1985 


1990 


No-Action Alternative 


4,680 


9,418 


10,315 


9,410 


Partial-Action Alternative 


4,680 


9,618 


12,715 


14,510 


Proposed Action 


4,680 


12,160 


28,215 


31,010 


Full-Development Scenario 


4,680 


14,160 


46,715 


75,410 



Table VIII-2 

PROJECTED ANNUAL WATER REQUIREMENTS 
(Acre Feet) 



T9B0" 



T9B5" 



1977 



1990 



No-Action Alternative 
Partial- Act Ion Alternative 
Proposed Action 
Full-Development Scenario 



13,995 


17,939 


25,882 


25,896 


13,995 


18,440 


35,623 


53,701 


13,995 


20,184 


40,553 


58,936 


13,995 


20,418 


45,122 


66,238 



VIII-2 



Table VIII- 3 
PROJECTED ACRES DISTURBED AND RECLAIMED 





1977 
Disturbed/Reclaimed 


1980 
Disturbed/Reclaimed 


1985 
Disturbed/Reclaimed 


1990 
Disturbed/Reclaimed 


No-Action Alternative 


3,^88 


380 


4,892 


802 


7,484 


2,940 


10,060 


5,752 


Partial-Action Alternative 


3,488 


380 


8,565 


802 


12,537 


3,180 


17,603 


6,902 


Proposed Action 


3,488 


380 


12,882 


802 


19,579 


4,964 


28,005 


11,116 


Full-Development Scenario 


3,488 


380 


13,188 


802 


22,652 


4,964 


35,322 


12,730 



Table VIII-4 
PROJECTED POPULATION IN THE ES REGION 



1977 
Total Coal*/ 



1980 
Total Coall/ 



im l7 

Total Coali/ 



Total Coall/ 



No-Action Alternative 
Partial -Action Alternative 
Proposed Action 
Full-Development Scenario 



162,350 3,240 

162,350 3,240 

162,350 3,240 

162,350 3,240 



175,150 3,650 

177,300 5,850 

178,950 7,450 

180,000 8,600 



195,550 3,250 218,150 4,500 

198,200 5,950 222,430 8,800 

200,050 7,750 224,500 10,800 

204,300 12,100 232,000 18,350 



Source: Harb ridge House, Inc., 1978. 

— Population increase due to coal-related development. 



Table VIII-5 

ESTIMATED NUMBER OP FOSSIL LOCALITIES SUBJECT 
TO DIRECT IMPACTS THAT WARRANT MITIGATION 





1990 


1985 


1990 


No-Action Alternative 


260-320 


450-490 


600-680 


Partial Action Alternative 


308-380 


613-675 


929-1,036 


Proposed Action 


374-492 


729-927 


1,149-1,476 


Full-Development Scenario 


381-502 


829-1,177 


1,549-2,076 



Table VIII-6 
COMPARISON OF IMPACTS ON CULTURAL RESOURCES 







Number of Sites 






Levels of Development 


1980 


1985 


1990 




No-Action Alternative 


120-152 


262-343 


417-508 




Partial-Action Alternative 


157-215 


318-428 


483-617 




Proposed-Action 


197-319 


403-589 


617-838 




Full-Development Scenario 


197-319 


412-624 


662-943 





VIII-4 



Table VIII- 7 
ESTIMATED CHANNEL DISTURBED 



Range in Drainage Area 
(square miles) 



Miles of Channel Disturbed Annually 

Year 
1977 1980 1985 1990 

Min Max Min Max Min Max Min Max 



No-action alternative 



.1 - 




.5 


.5 - 


1 


.0 


1.0 - 


5 


.0 


5.0 - 


10 


.0 


> 


10 


.0 


Partial-, 


action alternativ 


.1 - 




.5 


• 5 - 


1 


.0 


1.0 - 


5 


.0 


5-0 - 


10 


.0 


!> 


10 


.0 


Proposed 


action 


.1 - 




.5 


.5 - 


1 


.0 


1.0 - 


5 


.0 


5-0 - 


10 


.0 


i> 


10 


.0 


Full-development scenario 


.1 - 




5 


• 5 - 


1. 





1.0 - 


5 





5.0 - 


10. 





> 


10. 






0.23 
.09 

.05 

.02 
.0 



0.23 
• 09 
.05 
.02 

.0 



0.23 
• 09 
.05 
.02 
.0 



0.23 
• 09 
.05 
.02 
.0 



0.91 

M 

.32 
.23 

.14 



0.91 
.45 
• 32 
.23 
.14 



0.91 
.45 
• 32 
.23 
.14 



0.91 
.45 
.32 
.23 
.14 



0.53 
.21 
.11 
.05 
.0 



0.96 
.38 

.19 
.10 
.0 



1.67 
.67 
.33 
.17 
.0 



2.13 
1.06 

.75 
• 53 
.32 



3.84 

I.92 

1.34 

.96 

.58 



I.67 6.67 

.67 3.33 

.33 2.33 

.17 I.67 

.0 1.00 



6.67 
3.33 
2.33 
1.67 
1.00 



0.51 
.20 
.10 
.05 
.0 



0.75 

.30 

.15 
.08 
.0 



1.38 
.55 
.28 
.14 
.0 



1.92 

• 77 
.38 

• 19 
.0 



2.03 

1.02 

.71 

.51 

.30 



3.00 
1.50 
1.05 

.75 
.45 



5.52 
2.76 
1.93 
1.33 
.83 



7.69 
3.85 
2.69 
1.92 
1.15 



o.4o 
.16 
.08 
.04 
.0 



0.87 
.34 
.17 
.09 
.0 



1.50 
.60 
.30 

.15 
.0 



1.61 
.80 
.56 
.40 
.24 



3-46 

1.73 
1.21 

.87 
.52 



6.03 
3.00 
2.10 
1.50 
• 90 



2.04 8.14 

.81 4.07 

.41 2.85 

.20 2.04 

.0 1.22 



Table VIII-8 
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF ALTERNATE ACTIONS, 1980-1990 



Indicator 



Units 



Level 



1980" 



1985 



1990 



1. Total Populations, 
ES REGION 



2. Coal Related Population/Percent 
of Total Population, 
ES REGION 



3. Annual Rate of Population 
Change, 
< ES REGION 



4. Total Employment , 
Five County Area 



5. Direct Coal Related Employment, 
Five County Area/ 

Percent of Total Employment which 
is Direct Coal-Related Employment 

6. Indirect Coal Related Employment 
Five County Area/ 

Percent of Total Employment which 
is Coal-Related Indirect 



Persons 



Persons /Percent 



Percent 



Persons 



Per s ons/Fe rcent 



Persons/Percent 



No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 

No Action 

Partial revelopment 
Proposed Action 
High Level. 

No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 

No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 

No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 

No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 



175,150 
177,300 
178,950 
180,000 


195,550 
198,200 
200,050 
204,300 


3,650/2.1 
5,850/3.3 
7,450/4.2 
8,600/4.8 


3,250/1.7 

5,950/3.0 

7,750/3.9 

12,100/5.9 


2.6 

3.0 
3.3 
3.5 


2.2 
2.3 

2.6 


76,776 
78,772 
80,250 
81,300 


92,227 
94,641 
96,135 

99,949 


1,590/2.1 

2,600/3.3 
3,226/4.0 
3,677/4.5 


1,344/1.5 
2,564/2.7 
3,356/3.5 
5,227/5.2 


1,348/1.8 
2,188/2.8 
2,932/3-7 
3,454/4.2 


1,207/1-3 
2,234/2.4 
2,827/2.9 
4,490/4.5 



218,150 
222,430 

224,500 
232,000 

4,500/2.1 

8,800/4.0 

10,800/4.8 

18,350/7.9 

2.2 
2.3 
2.3 
2.6 

120,192 
115,924 
117,570 
123,912 

1,274/1.1 
3,758/3.2 
4,630/3.0 
8,072/6.5 

11.156/1.0 
3,387/2.8 
4,040/3.4 
6,476/5.2 



Table VIII-8 (Continued) 



Indicator 



Units 



Level 



1980 



1985 



1990 



7. Annual Rate of Employment Growth, 
Five County Area 



Total Personal Income Five County 
Area/Percent of which is Coal- 
Related 



9. Increased Motor Vehicle 
Registrations ES REGION/ 
Percent of Total Which is Coal- 
Related (1977 Baseline) 

10. Additional Units of Housing ES 
REGIOM/Percent of Total Which is 
Coal-Related (1977 Baseline) 



11. Additional Mohile Homes/ 
ES REGION/Percent of Total 
Which Is Coal-Related 
(1977 Baseline) 

12. School Age Population ES REGION/ 
Percent of Total Which is Coal- 
Related 



13. Increased Teachers Needed 
ES REGION/Percent of 
Total Which is Coal-Related 
(1977 Baseline) 



Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


3.4 
4.3 
4.9 
5.4 


3-7 
3.7 
3.7 
4.2 


5.4 
4.1 
4.1 
4.4 


Thousands of 
Dollars/Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


650,746/7.4 
680,940/11.5 
748,798/16.5 
763,824/19.0 


826,588/5.1 
863,706/9.1 
929,227/13.0 
986,033/20.2 


1,050,595/3.8 
1,128,075/10.4 
1.193,120/14.1 
1,290,691/23.7 


Vehicles/Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


104,073/3-9 
160,493/4.0 
108,253/7.6 
109,518/8.6 


117,285/3.0 
120,255/5.4 
122,235/7.0 
127,020/10.5 


131,350/3.8 
136,080/7.1 
138,280/8.6 
146,585/13-8 


Dwelling Units/ 
Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


45,694/3.0 
46,790/5.3 
47,220/6.1 
47,676/7.0 


51,058/2.3 
52,321/4.6 
55,750/5.1 
54,389/8.3 


63,371/1.7 
65,907/5.5 
66,285/6.1 

68,989/10.8 


Mobile Homes/ 
Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


12,763/8.5 
13,640/14.4 
13,984/16.5 
14,348/18.7 


14,733/6.3 
15,744/12.3 
16,087/14.2 
17,398/20.7 


20,130/4.5 
22,159/13.1 
22,461/14.3 
24,624/21.8 


Students/Percent 


Mo Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


43,787/2.1 
44,325/3.3 
44,738/4.2 
45,000/4.8 


48,888/1.7 
49,550/3.0 
50,013/3-9 
51,075/5.9 


54,538/2.1 
55,608/4.0 
56,125/4.8 
58,000/7.9 


Teachers/Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


2,085/2.1 
2,111/3.4 
2,130/4.3 
2,143/4.9 


2,328/1.9 
2,360/3.4 
2,382/4.4 
2,432/6.9 


2,597/2.6 
2,648/5.0 
2,673/6.2 
2,762/10.5 



Table VIII-8 (Continued) 





Indicator 


Units 


Level 


1980 


1985 


1990 


14. 


Increased Health Care Personnel 
(Doctors) Needed ES REGION/ 
Percent of Which is Coal-Related 
(1977 Baseline) 


Professionals/ 
Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


283/2.1 
286/3.1 
289/4.2 
290/4 . 8 


315/1.6 
320/3.1 
323/4.0 
330/6.1 


352/2.0 
359/4.0 
362/4.7 
374/8.0 


15. 


Increased Hospital Beds Needed 
ES REGION/Percent of Which is 
Coal-Related (1977 Baseline) 


Beds/Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


701/2 . 1 
709/3.2 
716/4.2 
720/4.7 


782/1.7 
793/3.0 
800/3.9 
817/5.9 


873/2.1 
890/3.9 
898/4.8 
928/7.9 


16. 


Increased Law Enforcement 
Personnel Needed ES REGION/ 
Percent of Which is Coal- 
Related (1977 Baseline) 


Law Officers/ 

Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


350/2.0 
355/3.4 
358/4.2 
360/4.7 


391/1.8 
396/3-0 
400/4.0 
409/5-9 


436/2.1 
445/4.0 
449/4.9 
464/8.0 


17. 


Increased Fire Protection 
Personnel Needed, ES REGION/ 
Percent of Which is Coal- 
Related (1977 Baseline) 


Firemen/Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


313/2.2 
317/3-2 
320/4.0 

321/4.7 


349/1.7 
354/3.1 
357/3.9 
365/6.O 


390/2 . 1 
397/4.0 
401/4.7 
414/8.0 


18. 


Community Water Use, ES REGION/ 
Percent Which is Coal-Related 
(1977 Baseline) 


Thousand-gallons/ 
day /Percent 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


22,502/2.7 
22,866/4.4 
23,130/5.6 
23,319/6.5 


27,936/2.0 
28,381/3.6 
28,678/4.7 
29,396/7.3 


35,021/2.2 
35,730/4.2 
36,060/5.2 
37,306/8.8 


19. 


Wastewater Treatment 

Needed ES REGION/Percent Which 

is Coal-Related 


Thousand-gallons/ 
day /Percent 


No Action 
Partial Action 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


7,493/2.7 
7,614/4.4 
7,702/5.6 
7,765/6.5 


9,303/2.0 
9,450/3.6 
9,550/9.7 
9,789/7.3 


11,566/2.2 
11,800/4.2 
11,900/5.2 
12,423/8.8 


20. 


Coal-Related Local Government 
Property Tax Revenues in 
ES REGION 


Millions of Dollars 


No Action 
Partial Action 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


1.7 
2.0 
2.6 
3.3 


1.7 
2.4 
2.7 
7.9 


1.8 

3.1 

5.6 

10.5 



Table VTII-8 (Continued) 



Indicator 



Units 



Level 



1980 



1985 



1990 



21. Coal-Related Local Government 
Gross Receipts Taxes in ES 
REGION Revenues 



22. Increase in Total Local 
Government Revenues, 

ES REGION 



23. Increase in Total Local 
Government Expenditures 



24. Impact on Balances of 

Local Government Budgets 



25. 



Increase in State 
Severance Taxes 



26. Impact on Balances of Local 
Government Budgets with 
State Severance Taxes 



Investments Lost by 
Private Industry 



Millions of Dollars 



Millions of Dollars 



Millions of Dollars 



Millions of Dollars 



Millions of Dollars 



Millions of Dollars 



Millions of Dollar's 
as of June 30, 1978 



No Action 
Partial Action 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


0.1 

0.2 
0.3 
0.3 


0.1 
0.2 
0.3 
0.4 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


1.8 
2.2 
2.9 

3.6 


1.8 
2.6 
3.0 
8.3 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


7.2 
11.1 
14.0 
16.1 


0.6 
0.7 
0.8 
3.1 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


(5.4) 

(8.9) 

(11.1) 

(12.5) 


1.2 
1-9 
2.2 
5.2 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


1.4 
1.4 
1.8 
2.1 


1.5 
1.9 
4.2 
7.0 


No Action 

Partial Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


(4.0) 

(7.5) 

(9.3) 

(10.4) 


2.7 
3.8 

6.4 
12.2 


No Action 

Partion Development 
Proposed Action 
High Level 


26.3 

18.5 

8.0 

0.0 





0.2 

0.3 
0.4 

0.6 

2.0 
3.4 

6.0 
11.1 

1.5 
2.7 
3.0 

5.1 

0.5 
0.7 
3.0 

6.0 

1.4 
2.3 
4.7 
9.1 

1.9 
3.0 

7.7 
15.1 



Source: Harbridge House, Inc. , 1978. 



Note: Parentheses indicates decreases. 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



NO-ACTION ALTERNATIVE 

If the Federal Government adopts the no-action 
alternative, the proposed Star Lake Railroad and 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line would not 
be built, and coal mining dependent on them would 
not be developed. This would greatly limit coal 
production in the region, but would not prevent 
continuation of production at present or increased 
levels from existing mines (Amcoal, McKinley, and 
San Juan). New coal mines would be developed on 
State and privately owned coal (Arroyo No. 1 and 
Gamerco) and existing Federal leases (La Ventana) 
where other power sources and means of transpor- 
tation can be utilized. Expansion of the San Juan 
Generating Station would also continue. The de- 
velopment is shown in Map VIII- 1. 

Geologic Setting 

As a result of continued mining and other activi- 
ties not dependent upon the proposed action, the 
topography of about 4,890 acres would be altered 
by 1980; 7,480 acres by 1985; and 10,060 acres by 
1990. 

The disturbance of geologic units due to strip 
mining would be less under the no-action alterna- 
tive than under the proposed action. Disturbance 
of the Crevasse Canyon and Menefee Formations 
would be the same as under the proposed action, 
and disturbance of the Fruitland and Kirtland For- 
mations would be substantially less than under the 
proposed action. 

Fossil resources in the ES Region would contin- 
ue to be studied by the scientific community be- 
cause of their critical reference nature. Natural ero- 
sion processes would continue to destroy fossil ma- 
terials although less rapidly than at the present rate 
because research interest would encourage in- 
creased collection and repository of resource mate- 
rials. The coal mines would deplete the fossil re- 
sources within their mine area. Population in- 
creases would continue, and unauthorized removal 
of fossil materials from Federal lands would in- 
crease. The loss of fossil resources is anticipated to 
be substantial near population centers. Estimated 
numbers of directly impacted localities requiring 
mitigation are given in Table VIII-5. 

The most significant impact on mineral resources 
under the no-action alternative would be the pro- 
duction and use through 1990 of about 121 million 
tons of coal, thus reducing the coal reserves of the 
ES Region by about 151 million tons (2 percent of 
the total strippable reserve). This coal would pro- 
vide energy equivalent to approximately 327 mil- 
lion barrels of oil or 2 trillion cubic feet of natural 
gas. 



Air Quality 

Maps VIII-2, VIII-3 and VIII-4 give the predict- 
ed annual average TSP, S0 2 , and NO a concentra- 
tions for the year 1990 under this alternative. 

The area affected by the particulate emissions 
from coal mines would be limited to a few square 
miles around individual mines. Because most of the 
fugitive dust generated by mining operations con- 
sists of relatively large diameter particles, consider- 
able particulate deposition would occur before the 
particles are transported far. The increase of annual 
TSP concentrations are predicted to be less than 1 
u.g/m 3 beyond a five-mile radius from the mines 
and their haul roads. 

The New Mexico annual ambient air quality 
standards for TSP may be exceeded very near spe- 
cific mining operations within or very near the 
mine boundaries. However, TSP concentrations 
would drop below standard levels at very short 
distances from the individual sources. 

In 1980, emissions from the Amcoal and Ga- 
merco mines would interact with those from 
Gallup and raise the annual average TSP concen- 
trations 5 u.g/m 3 above the background level 
(measured in 1975 and 1976) of 30 jug/m 3 over an 
area 1.5 miles in radius centered at Gallup. Gallup 
would show a maximum 24-hour concentration of 
119 ixg/m 3 . These annual and 24-hour concentra- 
tions are below New Mexico's annual standard of 
60 ug/m 3 and 24-hour standard of 150 /xg/m 3 . In 
1990, when neither mine is operating, the TSP con- 
centrations would be the same. 

In 1980, interaction between emissions from the 
San Juan Generating Station, the Four Corners 
Generating Station, the Western San Juan mine, 
and Farmington would cause TSP concentrations 
to violate New Mexico's annual and 24-hour stand- 
ards. A maximum annual TSP concentration of 65 
/ig/m 3 and a maximum 24-hour concentration of 
221 ftg/m 3 would occur over about a 3 by 5 mile 
area around Farmington. These concentrations rep- 
resent an increase of 10 /ig/m 3 over the annual 
background (55 /J.g/m 3 ) and a 34 u-g/m 3 increase 
over the 24-hour baseline concentration (187 pig/ 
m 3 ). Class II PSD increments are 19 and 37 u-g/m 3 , 
respectively; thus, the allowable PSD increment 
would not be exceeded. 

An area, two miles in diameter, around the San 
Juan mine would show an annual TSP concentra- 
tion of 60 u-g/m 3 and a 24-hour maximum of 204 
u.g/m 3 . Since New Mexico standards are not to be 
equaled, or exceeded, the annual standard of 60 
/xg/m 3 and the 24-hour standard of 150 jxg/m 3 
would be violated. 

In 1985 and 1990, an annual TSP concentration 
of 60 u-g/m 3 would occur over about a 9 by 4 mile 
area around Farmington and in a small area near 



VIII-10 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



tive but less than under the phased-development 
alternative and the proposed actions (Table VIII- 
1). 

Geologic Setting 

The estimated number of acres of altered topog- 
raphy would be about 8,570 by 1980; 12,540 by 
1985; and 17,600 by 1990. Disturbance by coal 
mining of the Crevasse Canyon and Menefee For- 
mations would be as great as under the proposed 
action, but disturbance of the Fruitland Formation 
and Kirtland Shale would be substantially less than 
under the proposed action. 

Major negative impacts on fossil resources are 
anticipated under this alternative. Only those re- 
quiring mitigation are discussed. From data gath- 
ered by various surface surveys, an average of 6 
localities per section of surface exposure of Fruit- 
land Formation and an average of 3 localities for 
the Mesa Verde Group would be subject to manda- 
tory or strongly suggested mitigation procedures 
within the study area. This figure increases to 60 
per section at a depth of 180 feet for surface mines. 
By this rationale, approximately 340 localities may 
be affected by 1980, 645 localities by 1985, and 980 
localities by 1990 (Table VIII-5). Direct impacts 
due to ancillary development are expected to be 
negligible before 1980 and to have fully occurred 
by 1985. Increased losses of fossil resources would 
occur due to population increases within the area, 
and would be substantial near population centers. 
An additional substantial impact is anticipated from 
indirect or secondary sources, the exact magnitude 
of which is not known. 

The most significant impact would be the pro- 
duction and use of about 147 million tons of coal 
through 1990, thus reducing the coal resource base 
in the ES Region by about 183 million tons (3 
percent of the total strippable reserve). This coal 
would provide energy equivalent to approximately 
397 million barrels of oil or 2.5 trillion cubic feet of 
natural gas. 

Exploration for and recovery of other mineral 
resources would not be possible on about 17,600 
acres that would have been disturbed by 1990. 
Most of the 6,900 acres that would have been re- 
claimed would be available for exploration, if not 
for recovery. Holders of mineral rights, other than 
coal, would be denied access during the mining 
and until reclamation is complete, but no significant 
loss of mineral resources have been identified. 

Air Quality 

In 1980, air quality impacts on the region would 
be very nearly the same as for the no-action alter- 
native. By 1990, the S0 2 and NO z levels would be 
the same as for the proposed action (see Maps IV-8 
and IV-9). The estimated 1990 TSP concentrations 



are shown on Map VIII-6. As can be seen from 
comparison of this map with Map VIII-2, the emis- 
sions are identical with the no-action alternative 
except for introduction of the source around the 
New Mexico Generating Station and the Bisti 
Mine. Two miles from the mine, TSP concentra- 
tions would be 35 jig/m 3 , or 5 \ig/m? above back- 
ground, and 6 miles from the mine, concentrations 
would drop to less than 1 ftg/m 3 above back- 
ground. 

Regional visibilities would not differ significantly 
from those discussed in the no-action alternative 
except within 2 miles of the Western-Bisti mine. By 
1985, the annual visibility in this area would be 
reduced from 48 to 43 miles; the worst-case 24- 
hour visibility would be reduced to 17 miles. 

Water Resources 

Water requirements for the coal mines, ancillary 
facilities, and related growth for the partial-action 
alternative would be 18,440 acre-feet in 1980, 
35,623 acre-feet in 1985, and 53,701 acre-feet in 
1990 (Table VIII-2). Of these amounts, 2,486 acre- 
feet, 3,511 acre-feet, and 4,018 acre-feet, respective- 
ly, would be for the coal mines. The powerplants 
would require 14,882 acre-feet in 1980, 30,962 acre- 
feet in 1985, and 47,997 acre-feet in 1990. The 
consumptive use of the water would be some un- 
known lesser amount. 

In addition to water withdrawn from the San 
Juan River for the San Juan Generating Station, 
about 30,000 acre-feet would be required for the 
New Mexico Generating Station when it reaches 
full capacity. This water is proposed to be piped 
from uranium mines in the Crownpoint area. The 
impact of dewatering these mines is being assessed 
in an Environmental Study under preparation by 
the BIA. 

The greatest impact on the surface-water re- 
sources of the region would be the continued de- 
struction of parts of many surface channels by on- 
going coal-mining operations. After reclamation, 
new channels would have to become established 
and stabilized. During this period, channel cutting 
could become a serious problem. Table VIII-7 lists 
the miles of channel estimated to be destroyed by 
coal mining. The mining proposals are not in suffi- 
cient detail to allow computation of miles of re- 
stored channel. 

The Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line 
would add a maximum gross load of 190 tons of 
sediment per year. The on-going and potential 
mines would have maximum gross total sediment 
discharges ranging from 1,070 to 23,800 tons per 
year, with an average maximum of 12,100 tons per 
year. Community development related to the coal 
mining would add a gross sediment load of 4,200 
tons per year in 1977, increasing to 11,400 tons per 



VIII-21 



colorado 
"newmexic" 




5 10 15 20 
i i i i__i 

MILES 

SCALE 



MAP VII 1-6. ANNUAL AVERAGE TSP CONCENTR ATIONSIUG/M3) FOR 1990 
UNDER THE PARTIAL-ACTION ALTERNATIVE. 

SOURCE: RADIAN, 1977b 



VIII-22 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



year by 1990. Table VIII- 12 lists the estimated 
sediment discharges that would be expected. Be- 
cause so little is known about sediment movement 
in arid regions, these discharges should not be to- 
taled except to determine an extreme worst possi- 
ble case. 

Soils 

Impacts on soils under the partial-action alterna- 
tive would result from varied degrees of disturb- 
ance and mixing of existing soils on an estimated 
8,570 acres by 1980, on 12,540 acres by 1985, and 
on 17,600 acres by 1990. The types of impacts 
would be similar to those described for the pro- 
posed action. However, the magnitude would be 
less due to fewer acres being involved. About 39 
percent fewer acres would be disturbed by 1990. 

Vegetation 

Under this alternative, vegetation would be de- 
stroyed on 8,570, 12,540 and 17,600 acres by 1980, 
1985, and 1990 respectively. Of the 17,600 acres of 
vegetation destroyed through 1990, about 36-per- 
cent would be grasslands, 17-percent sagebrush, 25- 
percent pinyon-juniper, 2-percent saltbush- 
greasewood and 8-percent barren. About 13-per- 
cent of the acres disturbed would be for communi- 
ty development where there is insufficient informa- 
tion to determine the vegetation type affected. 
Some unpredictable amount of disturbance from 
community development would occur outside the 
ES Region. 

Approximately 800, 3,180 and 6,900 of these dis- 
turbed acres would be reclaimed by 1980, 1985, 
and 1990 respectively. After reclamation the domi- 
nate aspect of these areas would be grassland or 
mixed shrub grassland. The plant communities es- 
tablished through reclamation would have a plant 
cover and productivity approximately equal to ad- 
jacent reference areas receiving similar manage- 
ment and use as the reclaimed mined areas. How- 
ever, the ability of these plant communities to 
withstand adverse management and weather will 
increase with time and progression of secondary 
succession toward climax (see Chapter IV). 

Wildlife 

The magnitude of impacts on the wildlife would 
be less than under the proposed action by an 
amount roughly proportional to the, difference in 
the amount of habitat lost. 

Animal-species composition and population den- 
sities would suffer from habitat destruction. Pro- 
posed coal mines and related development would 
be in an area dominated principally by short grass- 
desert shrub vegetative habitat, with scattered 
stands of pinyon-juniper habitat (Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1977). 



The acres of habitat disturbed by vegetative type 
are the same as those described in the vegetation 
section. 

Aesthetics 

Increased noise levels would be generated by the 
coal mining and related development. The impacts 
of increased noise levels would be similar to those 
of the proposed action but the areal extent of the 
impacts of the region would be less. 

Impacts to the visual resource would occur 
through contrasts created from modification to the 
existing landscape and introduction of structures. 
The cumulative impacts would be the result of 
increased mining operation, construction of 14 
miles of the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission 
Line, and development of the New Mexico Gener- 
ating Station. The magnitude of impacts generated 
through contrasts would be less than those from 
the proposed action because less acreage would be 
disturbed, less vegetation removed, and fewer 
structures would be placed on the landscape. Land 
in Visual Resource Management Classes I, III, and 
IV would be affected. 

Land Use 

Recreation 

Under this alternative, impacts to recreation 
would be slightly less than those from the pro- 
posed action. Mining development and construc- 
tion of the generating station and transmission line 
would reduce available acreage and cause disrup- 
tion to the existing dispersed recreation activities. 
The increased population would create an in- 
creased demand for recreation. 

Transportation 

The transportation requirements and related im- 
pacts of this alternative would be essentially the 
same as those described for the no-action alterna- 
tive. The primary difference between these two 
alternatives is development of the Western Coal 
Co.'s Bisti Mine. As proposed, coal produced at 
this mine would be consumed at the proposed New 
Mexico Generating Station, which would be locat- 
ed adjacent to the mine. A system to transport the 
coal this short distance would be developed and 
operated as an integral part of the mine-power 
plant complex. 

Wilderness 

In accordance with the law, Federal lands desig- 
nated as wilderness study areas shall be considered 
unsuitable for coal mining until Congress makes a 
final decision to designate these areas as wilderness 
or to deny such designation. When lands managed 
by BLM are leased prior to completion of the 



VIII-23 



Table VII 1-12 
ESTIMATED SEDIMENT DISCHARGES, PARTIAL-ACTION ALTERNATIVE 



Name 



1977 

Grpss 

Working Mine!/ Totali/ Net3/ 



Tons of Sediment Discharge 
1980 1985 

Grpss Gipss , 

Working Mine]/ Total- 7 NeS/ Working Mine- 7 Total- 7 Net^- 7 Working Mine! 7 Total!/ 



& 



1990 
ross 



Net 



3/ 



Amcoal 


670 


Arroyo #1 


- 


Gamerco 




Bisti 




McKinley 


2,180 


San Juan 


1,520 


La Ventana 




New Mexico Generating 




San Juan Generating 


s 


Pipeline 




Transmission Line 




Fruitland Coal Load 




Community Development 


* 



2,1130 



15,700 
2,310 



920 



8,530 

1,740 



4,200 



740 



3,070 

550 

11,500 

9,410 

7,740 

2,750 

* 

•:;■ 



4,830 
550 

12,000 
9,710 

19,900 
3,360 
260 
6,660 
1,130 
1,680 

190 
7,590 



2,440 
500 

9,840 

9,010 
11,600 

2,570 
120 

3,700 
630 
560 

50 

1,350 



3,370 

1,020 

6,970 

10,100 

17,800 

2,930 
* 

x 

X 

*' 
* 

x 



4,610 

1,050 

8,840 

11,200 

25,600 

3,430 

260 

6,660 

1,130 

1,680 

1,070 

190 

7,690 



220 
800 

3,970 

8,790 
12,500 

2,070 
120 

3,700 

630 

560 

300 

50 

1,350 



460 
15 
4,640 
19,200 
19,300 
2,590 
* 
•:: 
X 
s 
X 



5,370 


130 


140 


- 140 


8,180 


1,540 


21,400 


15,900 


28,800 


15,900 


3,370 


1,520 


260 


120 


6,660 


3,700 


1,130 


630 


1,680 


560 


1,070 


300 


190 


50 


11,400 


1,990 



Note: 



Sediment discharges are not cumulative and, therefore, are not totaled. 
*Not applicable. 



For methodology see section on sediment computations in Appendix B. 



- Includes discharge from open it, spoil pile, regraded areas and revegetated areas not fully recovered. 
2/ Includes above plus rehabilitated areas and other disturbed areas (building, storage, roads, etc.). 

- Above adjusted for the sediment discharge that would have occurred naturally. 



Regional Analysis 

wilderness inventory, an environmental assessment 
record or an environmental impact statement must 
consider whether the lands possess the characteris- 
tics of a wilderness study area. If the findings are 
affirmative, the lands shall be considered unsuitable 
for coal mining. 

Grazing 

Vegetation destroyed under this alternative 
would cause a corresponding loss in the production 
of forage for livestock (see vegetation section). 
Through 1980 there would be a loss of 355 AUMs. 
Losses by 1985 and 1990 would amount to 542 
AUMs and 708 AUMs, respectively. Reclamation, 
as discussed in the proposed action, would be com- 
pleted on 9.4 percent of the acreage disturbed up 
to 1980, on 25 percent of the acreage disturbed 
through 1985, and 39 percent of the acreage dis- 
turbed through 1990, resulting in the recovery of 
33, 135 and 276 AUMs, respectively. Beneficial 
impacts also would be realized by the livestock 
operators due to increased power supplies and im- 
proved transportation networks. 

Cultural Resources 

Implementation of the partial-action alternative 
would increase impacts to cultural resources in the 
ES Region over those expected for the no-action 
alternative. An estimated additional 66 to 109 sites 
would be affected by 1990, bringing the total possi- 
ble impacted sites to 617 (Table VIII- 13). Chapter 
IV discusses the impacts for the individual compa- 
nies. The 1990 estimate does not exhaust the poten- 
tial impact on cultural resources because mining 
would extend well beyond that date, and the 
number of sites affected would increase according- 
ly. Impacts would affect the entire range of cultur- 
al material in the region (see Chapter II). In all 
cases, full site inventories must precede terrain dis- 
turbance. These inventories provide the basis for 
determining not only the number of sites in the 
areas, but their cultural affiliation and significance 
as well. 

Socioeconomic Conditions 

Social and economic impacts for the partial- 
action alternative are presented in Table VIII-8. 
Reflected in the table are existing and projected 
developments of coal, oil, gas, and uranium; the 
New Mexico Generating Station and expansion of 
the San Juan Generating Station; and the Navajo 
Indian Irrigation Project. Projected developments 
and natural growth by 1990 would increase the 
population to 222,430, employment to nearly 
116,000, and personal income to over $1.1 million. 
This growth would increase the need for better 
roads, more housing, health care, police and fire 
protection, water supply, and other community in- 



Alternatives 

frastructures. The degree in which coal is a factor 
at each level of development is shown on Table 
VIII-8, where applicable. 

PHASED-DEVELOPMENT 
ALTERNATIVE 

Another alternative that has been proposed 
would delay construction of the section of the 
FCL from Bisti to Star Lake, and the section of 
the SLR between Pueblo Pintado and Bisti (Map I- 
2). The partial-action alternative analysis evaluates 
impacts resulting from construction of the power 
line to Bisti, only without construction of any part 
of the railroad. The proposed action analysis evalu- 
ates impacts resulting from construction of the 
power line in stages, and construction of the entire 
railroad at one time. 

The coal production and impacts resulting from 
this phased-development alternative would be at a 
level between those of the proposed actions and 
the partial-action alternative. Estimated coal pro- 
duction from this alternative would be between the 
mid-level and intermediate level curves shown on 
Figure 1-3, but much closer to the mid-level curve. 
Impacts would lie between those estimated for the 
proposed actions and the partial-action alternative, 
but would be closer to those of the proposed ac- 
tions. (The format of the ES allows fairly accurate 
interpolation of impacts resulting from different 
levels of coal production or proposed alternatives. 
(Refer to tables VIII-1 through VIII-8.) 

This alternative would result in impacts different 
from those of the proposed action in two major 
ways. 

(1.) The development of the Alamito Mine (Map 
1-4) would be delayed, thus delaying production of 
coal at a rate of about 6 million tons annually from 
1984 to some future date, and also delaying the 
associated impacts. However, if a spur line were to 
be developed from Pueblo Pintado to the proposed 
Alamito Mine at a later time, then the impacts of 
this alternative would be approximately the same as 
those of the proposed actions. 

(2.) Operations at the Bisti Mine and New 
Mexico Generating Station (Map 1-4) would be 
carried on without the use of railroad transporta- 
tion to the proposed site. Transportation of equip- 
ment and supplies for construction of the power 
plant and start-up of the mine would be by truck. 
Transportation of coal produced before the power 
plant became operational, or coal produced in 
excess of that used by the power plant, would also 
be by truck. This would entail an increase in popu- 
lation in the northwest part of the region propor- 
tional to the number of trucks needed to support 
operations. Impacts related to this mode of trans- 
portation would include those resulting from in- 



VIII-25 



Table VIII-13 
ESTIMATED IMPACTS ON CULTURAL RESOURCES, PARTIAL-ACTION ALTERNATIVE 







Number of Sites 




Development 


1980 


1985 


1990 


Bisti Mine 


5-12 


12 - 22 


22 - 45 


New Mexico Generating Station 


27 - 36 


27 - 36 


27 - 36 


Water and Transmission Lines 


5-15 


15 - 20 


15 - 20 


Fruit land Coal Load (Stage I) 





2 - 8 


2-8 


Sub-Total 


37 - 63 


56 - 86 


66 - 109 


No-Action Alternative 


120 - 152 


262 - 342 


417 - 508 


Total 


157 - 215 


318 - 428 


483 - 617 



VIII-26 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



creased population, as well as those related to in- 
creased truck traffic, including higher use of petro- 
leum products, decreased air quality (both emis- 
sions and dust) expansion of the public road repair 
and construction program, and a pbssible increase 
in the number of traffic accidents and lives lost. 

FULL-DEVELOPMENT SCENARIO 

The full-development scenario is a cumulative 
analysis of all the lower levels of production plus 
impacts from potential mining of areas covered by 
outstanding preference right lease applications 
(PRLA's), other areas of Federal coal in which an 
interest has been shown, and associated State and 
privately owned coal (Map VIII-7). The PRLA's 
and other areas of interest in Federal coal are in- 
cluded to indicate what the future developments 
may be. If coal production in the region reaches 
the level of the full-development scenario, it would 
be nearly double that of the proposed action, as 
shown in Table VIII- 1. 

Geologic Setting 

The number of acres of topography that would 
be altered is estimated at about 13,190 by the year 
1980; 22,650 by 1985; and 35,320 by 1990. 

Disturbance would be the same as under the 
proposed action for the Crevasse Canyon and Men- 
efee Formations, but would be much higher for the 
Fruitland Formation and Kirtland Shale. Covering 
and removal of geologic units by coal-related de- 
velopment would be increased, but the total impact 
would not be significantly greater than under the 
proposed action. The impact of the underground 
mining on the stratigraphy of this area would be 
low because most of the strata would be left intact. 

The amount of exposed highwall permitting pos- 
sibility of collapse or ignition of coal could be 
about double that of the proposed action. Possibil- 
ity of unplanned subsidence resulting from under- 
ground mining could be increased an order of mag- 
nitude above that of the proposed action. 

Major negative impacts to the paleontological 
resources are anticipated from high-level coal pro- 
duction, indirect impacts of population increases, 
and increased accessibility to fossil resources. From 
survey data, 50 fossil localities per section would 
be impacted in such a manner as to demand or 
strongly encourage mitigation procedures. By this 
assumption, 450 localities would be affected by 
1980, 930 localities by 1985, and 1,750 localities by 
1990 (Table VIII-5). Substantial increases beyond 
these figures can be anticipated after 1990 because 
of the 40-year projected life of most mines. Sup- 
port and ancillary facilities and secondary industrial 
development would also cause increased negative 



impacts on fossil resources. The exact magnitude of 
these secondary impacts is not known. 

The most significant impact would be the pro- 
duction and use of about 499 million tons of coal 
through 1990, thus reducing the coal resource base 
in the ES Region by about 623 million tons (10 
percent of the total strippable reserve). This coal 
would provide energy equivalent to 1.3 billion bar- 
rels of oil or 8.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. 

Exploration and/or recovery of other mineral 
resources would not be possible on about 35,320 
acres that would have been disturbed by 1990. 
Most of the 12,730 acres that have been reclaimed 
would be available for exploration, if not for recov- 
ery. Holders of mineral rights, other than coal, 
would be denied access during the mining and until 
reclamation is complete, but no significant loss of 
mineral resources have been identified. Natural gas 
pipelines and the compressor station at Star Lake 
would have to be relocated. The railroad and 
power grid would potentially benefit future devel- 
opment of other mineral resources. 

Air Quality 

To achieve this level of development, most new 
mines would be in the central portion of the ES 
Region (see Map VIII-7). Particulate emissions 
from these mines would interact with the Bisti, 
Alamito, and Star Lake Mines, increasing TSP 
concentrations in the center of the ES Region. 
Interaction between adjacent mines would increase 
annual TSP concentrations 5 to 10 ju.g/m 3 above 
the baseline concentrations in the area between 
mining operations; maximum 24-hour concentra- 
tions would increase by 35 fig/m 3 . These increases 
would occur over an area of mining activity 60 
miles long and 4 to 10 miles wide bounded by the 
Bisti mine on the northwest corner and the Star 
Lake East Mine on the southeast corner. Although 
annual TSP concentrations would increase signifi- 
cantly, they would remain below the New Mexico 
standards. Annual and 24-hour TSP concentrations 
in this area of increased mining would be lower 
than concentrations in the Farmington area with 
the no-action alternative. Maximum 7- and 30-day 
TSP concentrations in the area surrounding new 
activities of this development would not violate 
New Mexico standards. 

The Class II PSD increment allowed for TSP 
would not be exceeded by operation of the mines 
at this level of development. If Chaco Canyon Na- 
tional Monument were to be designated a Class I 
PSD area, only mines very near the monument's 
border would reach the TSP increment limit. No 
impacts on the PSD Class I increments for S0 2 
would occur as a result of development of new 
mines. 



VIII-27 




20 10 Ml. 



SCALE 



Legend: 


Coal Mines 


1. 


Alamito 


2. 


Amcoal 


3. 


Arch Mineral 


4. 


Arroyo #1 


5. 


Pisti 


6. 


Gamerco 


7. 


Eastern 


8. 


Salazar 


9. 


Gallo Wash 


10. 


Gallo Wash Pits 3 &4 


11. 


La Ventana 


12. 


McKinley 


13. 


Blanco Nageezi 


14. 


San Juan 


15. 


South Hospah 


16. 


Star Lake 


17. 


Star Lake East 



Related Development 

18. Fruitland Coal Load 

19. New Mexico Generating Station 

20. San Juan Generating Station 

21. Star Lake Railroad 



MAP VIII-7. COAL-RELATED DEVELOPMENT UNDER THE FULL- 
DEVELOPEMENT SCENARIO 

VIII-28 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



Impacts on the Class I increment would occur 
only for small areas along the monument's northern 
border. The impact on PSD increments for TSP in 
Chaco Canyon would be very small since 
"exempt" fugitive dusts, which make up 85 percent 
of the emissions from surface mines, are not consid- 
ered in determining the amount of the PSD incre- 
ment. Also, most of the dust coming from the 
mines consists of large particles which settle before 
they are transported far. 

Population increases resulting from this level of 
development would cause increased TSP, S0 2 and 
N0 2 emissions from towns. Annual and 24-hour 
concentrations would increase by about 5 percent 
over the proposed action level around Farmington 
and Gallup. At Crownpoint, pollutant concentra- 
tions would increase about 17 percent above the 
proposed action level. Violation of ambient air 
quality standards in the area surrounding Farming- 
ton would continue because of increased emissions 
and increased dimensions of the town. Also, the 
size of the area influenced by the emissions from 
the town would increase because of the increased 
emissions. 

Both average annual and worst-case 24-hour visi- 
bilities around Gallup and Farmington would de- 
crease by at least 1 mile. The largest change in 
visibilities would occur in the 60-mile-long area 
along the Fruitland Formation where the majority 
of the high-level mines would be located. Annual 
visibilities in this area would drop from the present 
53 miles to 43 miles, while the worst-case 24-hour 
visibility would be reduced from 23 to 17 miles. 

One-hour worst-case visibilities in the Chaco 
Canyon National Monument could be reduced 
from their present value of 12 miles to 9 miles. 
This reduction would occur along the northern 
border of the monument if surface mines are oper- 
ating within 3 to 5 miles from the monument 
boundary. It appears that no coal leases would be 
located any closer than 3 to 5 miles from the 
monument. 

Water Resources 

The water requirements for the coal mines, ancil- 
lary facilities, and related growth for the full-devel- 
opment scenario would be 20,418 acre-feet in 1980, 
45,122 acre-feet in 1985, and 66,238 acre-feet in 
1990 (Table VIII-2). Of these amounts, 3,146 acre- 
feet, 11,681 acre-feet, and 14,488 acre-feet respec- 
tively, would be for the coal mines. The power- 
plants would require 14,882 acre-feet in 1980, 
30,962 acre-feet in 1985, and 47,997 acre-feet in 
1990. The consumptive use of the water would be 
some unknown lesser amount. 

In addition to water withdrawn from the San 
Juan River for the San Juan Generating Station, 
about 30,000 acre-feet would be required by the 



New Mexico Generating Station when it reaches 
full capacity. This water is proposed to be piped 
from uranium mines in the Crownpoint area. The 
impact of dewatering these mines is being assessed 
in an Environmental Study under preparation by 
the BIA. 

Water for the coal mines would be obtained for 
the most part by pumping from deep wells tapping 
the Entrada Sandstone, the Westwater Canyon 
Member of the Morrison Formation, and/or the 
Gallup Sandstone. Total withdrawals for coal-relat- 
ed development by 1990 would lower water levels 
in the Entrada as much as 400 feet, in the 
Westwater Canyon as much as 430 feet, and in the 
Gallup as much as 100 feet. Maps VIII-8 through 
VIII- 10 show the head declines in these aquifers as 
determined by a digital model developed by the 
New Mexico District, WRD, of the USGS. 

The greatest impact on the surface-water re- 
sources of the region would be the continued de- 
struction of parts of many surface channels by the 
on-going coal-mining operations. After reclamation, 
new channels would have to become established 
and stabilized. During this period, channel cutting 
could become a serious problem. Table VIII-7 lists 
the miles of channel estimated to be destroyed per 
year by coal mining for the years 1980, 1985, and 
1990. The mining proposals are not in sufficient 
detail to allow computation of miles of restored 
channel. 

Construction of the Star Lake Railroad would 
add a maximum gross load of 179,000 tons of sedi- 
ment, and the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission 
Line would add a maximum gross load of 1,100 
tons of sediment per year. The on-going and poten- 
tial coal mines would have maximum gross total 
sediment discharges ranging from 860 to 28,800 
tons per year, with an average maximum of 10,300 
tons per year. 

Community development related to the coal 
mining would add a gross sediment load of 4,200 
tons per year in 1977, increasing to 23,700 tons per 
year by 1990. Table VIII- 14 lists the estimated 
sediment discharge that would be expected. Be- 
cause so little is known about sediment movement 
in arid regions, the discharges should not be totaled 
except to determine an extreme worst possible case. 

Soils 

Impacts on soils under the full-development sce- 
nario would result from varied degrees of disturb- 
ance and mixing of existing soils on an estimated 
13,190 acres by 1980, on 22,650 acres by 1985, and 
on 35,320 acres by 1990. The types of impacts 
would be similar to those described for the pro- 
posed action. However, the magnitude would be 
greater due to the increased acreage involved. 



VIII-29 




MAP VI li-8 



PREDICTED HEAD DECLINE IN THE 
ENTRADA SANDSTONE BY 1990. 



VIII-30 



> 




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1 






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10 30 30 Ml. 


i 

1 




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1 


SCALE 


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MAP VII 1-9 . PREDICTED HEAD DECLINE IN THE 

WESTWATER CANYON MEMBER OF THE 
MORRISON FORMATION BY 1990. 



VIII-31 




MAP VIII -10. PREDICTED HEAD DECLINE INTHEGALLU 
SANDSTONE BY 1990. 



vE5!4g 



Table VIII-14 
ESTIMATED SEDIMENT DISCHARGE (tons), FULL DEVELOPMENT SCENARIO 



Name 



1977 

Gross ~ ' 
Working Mine}/ Totalg/ NetJ/ 



1980 

Gross 



1985 
Gross 



1990 
Gross 



Alamito 

Amcoal 

Arch 

Arroyo #1 

Bisti 

Gallo Wash 

Gamerco 

Eastern 

Freeman-United 

LaVentana 

McKinley 

Peabody #3 and #4 

Peabody-Star Lake 

San Juan 

South Hospah 

Star Lake 

Salt River Project 

New Mexico Generating 

San Juan Generating 

Pipeline 

Transmission Line 

Fruitland Coal Load 

Star Lake Railroad 

Community Development 



670 



2,180 



1,520 



2,430 920 



15,700 8,530 



2,310 1,740 



1,130 630 



4,200 740 



Working Minei/ Total?/ NetJ/ Wor king Mine j/ Tot all/" Net3/ Working Minel/ Total?/ Net 3/ 



3,070 

550 
9,410 

11,500 



7,740 



2,750 

1,000 

14,000 

x 

* 
* 
1 



4,830 

550 
9,710 



260 
19,900 

3,360 

1,060 
15,900 

6,660 
1,130 
1,680 



179,000 
11,100 



2,440 

500 
9,010 



12,000 9,840 



120 
11,600 



2,570 

950 

10,800 

3,700 
630 
560 

190 

167,000 

1,950 



13,600 
3,370 
6,800 
1,020 

10,100 
1,280 
6,970 
6,360 
4,160 

17,800 

2,300 

2,930 

4,780 

13,300 

* 

* 
* 

5; 
it 

i 



13,600 
4,610 
6,900 
1,050 

11,200 
2,340 
8,840 
6,520 
4,260 
260 

25,600 

2,350 

3,430 

4,960 

21,700 

6,660 
1,130 
1,680 
1,070 
1,070 
55,800 
15,600 



8,150 

220 

5,640 

800 

8,790 

1,520 

3,970 

5,530 

3,660 

120 

12,500 

2,100 

2,070 

3,980 

10,400 

3,700 
630 
560 
300 
310 
43,400 

2,740 



15,400 

460 

6,830 

15 

19,200 

7,720 

4,640 

5,810 

2,930 

19,800 

860 

1,450 

2,590 

4,820 

14,600 

* 
* 

a 
* 

* 



18,700 

5,370 

7,460 

14C 

21,400 
9,160 
8,180 
6,430 
3,370 
260 

28,800 

860 

1,680 

3,370 

5-400 

26,800 

6,660 
1,130 
1,680 
1,070 
1,070 
55,800 
23,700 



4,960 

130 

5,150 

- 140 

15,900 

4,500 

1,540 

4,280 

2,140 

120 

15,900 

710 

1,110 

1,520 

3,500 

7,730 

3,700 
630 
560 
300 
310 
43,400 

4,160 



Note: 



Sediment discharges are not cumulative and, therefore, are not totaled. 
* Not applicable. 



For methodology see section on sediment computations in Appendix B. 



i/lncludes discharge from open pit, spoil pile, regraded areas and revegetated areas not fully recovered. 
2/Includes above plus rehabilitated areas and other disturbed areas (building, storage, roads etc ) 
3/ Above adjusted for the sediment discharge that would have occurred naturally. 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



About 26 percent more acres would be disturbed 
by 1990. 

Vegetation 

Activities described under this scenario would 
result in the destruction of approximately 13,190, 
22,650, and 35,320 acres of vegetation by 1980, 
1985, and 1990 respectively. By 1990 the area on 
which vegetation would be destroyed would be 
less than 0.8 percent of the area of the ES Region. 
The proportions identifiable to specific vegetation 
types are about 36 percent grassland, 29 percent 
sagebrush, 13 percent pinyon-juniper, 5 percent 
barren, and 3 percent sal tbush-grease wood. About 
14 percent of the acreage disturbed would be for 
community development where there is not suffi- 
cient information to determine the vegetation type 
affected. Some unpredictable amount of disturb- 
ance from community development would occur 
outside the ES Region. 

Approximately 800, 4,960 and 12,730 of these 
disturbed areas would be reclaimed by 1980, 1985 
and 1990 respectively. After reclamation the domi- 
nate aspect of these areas would be grassland or 
mixed shrub grassland. The plant communities es- 
tablished through reclamation would have a plant 
cover and productivity approximately equal to ad- 
jacent reference areas receiving similar manage- 
ment and use as the reclaimed mined areas. How- 
ever, the ability of these plant communities to 
withstand adverse management and weather will 
increase with time and progression of secondary 
succession toward climax (see Chapter IV). 

Wildlife 

The magnitude of impacts on the wildlife would 
be greater than under the proposed action by an 
amount roughly proportional to the difference in 
the amount of habitat lost. The acres of habitat 
disturbed by vegetative type are the same as those 
described in the vegetation section. Proposed coal 
mines and related development would be in an area 
dominated principally by short grass-desert shrub 
vegetative habitat, with scattered stands of pinyon- 
juniper habitat (Fish and Wildlife Service, 1977). 

Howard (1977) estimated a density of one rodent 
per 3.4 acres of habitat on the Bisti coal area. 
Considering a total of 25,785 acres of short grass- 
desert shrub habitat disturbed by 1990, it is estimat- 
ed that 7,583 xeric-adapted rodents will be lost on 
project lands. 

Aesthetics 

A decrease in visibility would occur from the 
increase in very fine particulate emissions and the 
aerosols formed in the atmosphere from sulfur 
dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons pro- 
duced through a new power-generating station, a 



railroad, the mining operations, and the acreage 
disturbed by these. Reduced visibilities would be 
localized, but the increase in number of activities 
would result in an increase in both size and number 
of localized emissions. Regional visibility would 
not be noticeably decreased as a result of the in- 
creased particulate emissions. 

Increased noise levels would be generated by the 
coal mining and related development. The impacts 
of this increased noise level would be similar to, 
but greater than, those discussed for the proposed 
action. 

Impacts to visual resources would occur through 
contrasts created from modification to the existing 
landscape and introduction of structures. This 
would affect 13,170 acres by 1980, 22,650 acres by 
1985, and 35,320 acres by 1990. The magnitude of 
impacts generated through secondary development 
would be greater than those from the proposed 
action because of the greater development. Land in 
all Visual Resource Management Classes would be 
affected by this alternative. 

Land Use 

Recreation 

Impacts to recreation would be greater than for 
the proposed action by greater disruption of recre- 
ation activities and displacement of users, affecting 
35,320 acres by 1990. Increased population as a 
result of this development would also create a 
greater demand for recreation. 

Transportation 

This scenario would result in the greatest 
demand for coal transportation. Coal produced at 
Western Coal Co.'s Bisti and San Juan Mines 
would be consumed at power plants adjacent to 
these mines. The remaining coal production would 
be transported from the region by rail. Population 
increases, commuting, and service activities associ- 
ated with coal production would result in increased 
traffic on regional highways. 

To accommodate the resulting increased level of 
traffic on the Star Lake Railroad (25 unit-train trips 
per day), an improved signalling system would be 
required. Installation of a Traffic Control System 
(TSC) is scheduled for the late 1980's. 

The entire region would generate an average of 
28.6 unit trains per day, 6.6 times greater than the 
no-action alternative and 2.1 times greater than the 
proposed action. The ultimate destination for much 
of this coal is presently unknown. Using the same 
assumptions used in Chapter IV plus assuming that 
the Salt River Project's coal is shipped to the 
Coronado Power Plant, approximately 81 million 
gallons of diesel fuel would be consumed moving 
this coal. This is approximately 100 percent greater 



VIII-34 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



than the proposed action. Impacts associated with 
the frequency of rail operations or the amount of 
fuel consumption such as air pollution, noise emis- 
sions, delay, and rail-highway grade crossing acci- 
dents would increase in a similar manner. 

Extra-regional (down-line) traffic levels are diffi- 
cult to estimate for this scenario because many 
ultimate destinations have not been determined. In 
addition to the destinations known for the pro- 
posed action, the only other known market would 
be for coal produced by the Salt River Project. 
This would add approximately 3 trains per day to 
the main-line between Prewitt and Navajo and the 
branch-line from Navajo to Springerville. The re- 
maining coal would require an average of 9 trains 
per day. Obviously, the greatest impact of this 
movement would occur if it all moved by the same 
route to the same destination. Even at this level, 
however, a combination of existing traffic and coal 
traffic could be accommodated on the existing 
main-lines, with surplus capacity available to 
absorb other traffic growth. Assuming this traffic is 
divided among the Santa Fe main-lines to the east 
to the same extent as coal produced by the prob- 
able level of development, the estimated increases 
shown in Table VIII- 15 would result. 

Grazing 

Because none of the additional coal development 
would be in operation by 1980, the 835 AUMs lost 
during this period under the proposed action 
would remain unchanged for this scenario. Addi- 
tional coal-related development throughout the 
region would result in the loss of 1,335 AUMs by 
1985 and 1,927 AUMs by 1990. 

The vegetative reclamation discussed in the pro- 
posed action would provide for the return of 249 
AUMs by 1985 and 679 AUMs by 1990. Other 
impacts on the livestock operations in the region 
would remain the same as those discussed in the 
proposed action. 

Wilderness 

As was stated under the partial-action alterna- 
tive, the final determination on the designation of 
wilderness areas has not been made. Until Congress 
makes a final decision, Federal lands designated as 
wilderness study areas shall be considered unsuit- 
able for coal mining. 

Cultural Resources 

Full-development scenario impacts consist of im- 
pacts from the proposed action plus impact antici- 
pated if this level of development is approved (see 
Chapter IV for a discussion of the proposed action 
impacts). Only those companies whose operations 
would increase impacts to cultural resources by 
1990 are added. Each company is discussed indi- 



vidually to adequately assess the data on which the 
impacts are based. (This does not imply that the 
proposals of these companies will be approved.) 
Until 1985, cultural resources would not be affect- 
ed beyond the level of the proposed action. Im- 
pacts would increase from 1985 to 1990, even 
though by 1990 much of the additional mining 
would only be in its initial stages. As companies 
achieve full operational levels, cultural resources 
would be lost in increasing numbers. Impacts 
stressed here involve the direct destruction of cul- 
tural material through mine operation. 

Indirect losses due to increased worker activity 
and vandalism should be considered over and 
above these figures. The estimates are only a quan- 
titative index of cultural resource impacts; the qual- 
ity of sites and/or their importance to anthropo- 
logical research has not been addressed. Because 
the San Juan Basin is one of the most important 
archaeological regions in North America, imple- 
mentation of large-scale coal-mining activities 
would negatively affect both on-going research and 
recreational values of these cultural resources. 
Table VIII- 16 provides an initial estimate of the 
extent of impacts to cultural material in the mine 
area under the full-development scenario. Table 
VIII-6 presents a summary comparison of relative 
levels of impacts to the cultural resources for 1980, 
1985, and 1990 resulting from the various levels. 

Arch Mineral Mine 

Arch Mineral Corporation contracted for three 
separate cultural resource inventories through the 
Museum of Northern Arizona (Hunt, 1975), and 
New Mexico State University (NMSU) (Naylor, 
1976, and Nielson and Bussy, 1976). Approximately 
30 percent of the mine area was surveyed, with the 
NMSU surveys covering the greatest area. Survey 
techniques make it probable that an unknown 
number of small sites, primarily lithic and ceramic 
remains common in the region, were overlooked. 
NMSU density figures have been adjusted to pro- 
vide a range reflecting probable site density. Using 
these estimates, and the extent of disturbance, 2 to 
12 sites would be impacted by 1985, and 6 to 28 by 
1990. 

Gallo Wash Mine 

No cultural resource inventories have been made 
for the Gallo Wash mine area. The inventory con- 
tracted by the BLM for preparation of this envi- 
ronmental statement (Huse et al., 1978) reports a 
density of 7.2 sites per square mile. This was used 
as the basis for the Gallo Wash estimate. Using this 
density and the extent of disturbance, 1 to 4 sites 
would be impacted by 1985, and 13 to 21 by 1990. 



VIII-35 



Table VIII-15 

ESTIMATED INCREASES IN RAIL TRAFFIC ON DOWN-LINE MAIN-LINE SEGMENTS 

(trains per day) 



Segment 



Traffic In 
1977 



Increased Traffic 
in 1990 



Prewitt-Belen 


25 


16.3 


Belen-South 


4 


4.2 


Belen-Texlco 


36 


12.1 


Texl co-Northeas t 


42 


6.7 


Texicc— Southeast 


16 


5.4 


Prewltt-Def lance 


25 


7.2 


Def Iance-Navaj 


25 


9.0 


Navajo- Joseph City 


25 


2.7 


NavaJ o-Sprlngervllle 


1.6 


6.3 



Percent Increase 
1977-1990 



65 
122 
34 
16 
34 
29 
36 
11 
394 



VIII-36 



Table VIII- 16 

ESTIMATED IMPACTS ON CULTURAL RESOURCES 
FULL-DEVELOPMENT SCENARIO 



Development 


1980 




Number of Sites 
1985 


1990 


Arch Mineral Mine 









2 


- 


12 


6 - 


28 


Gallo Wash Mine 









1 


- 


4 


13 - 


21 


Eastern Associated Mine 









4 


- 


7 


8 - 


13 


Freeman-United Mine 









1 


- 


8 


8 - 


12 


Gallo Wash Pits 3 and 4 
















1 - 


4 


Star Lake East Mine 









1 


- 


4 


2 - 


7 


Other Areas of Federal Coal 


Interest 









- 




8 - 


20 


Sub-Total 









9 


- 


35 


45 - 


105 


Total: Proposed Action 


197 


- 


319 


403 


- 


589 


617 - 


838 


Total 


197 


- 


319 


412 


- 


624 


622 - 


943 



VIII-37 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



Eastern Associated Mine 

Five and one-half sections of Eastern's proposed 
mine area have been surveyed for cultural re- 
sources through New Mexico State University 
(Grove, 1976). The survey area does not corre- 
spond precisely to the zones of initial mining dis- 
turbance. Because of the close proximity and simi- 
larity of terrain, site densities from the Grove 
report were used as the basis for the Eastern esti- 
mates. Using this density and the extent of disturb- 
ance, 4 to 7 sites would be impacted by 1985, and 8 
to 13 by 1990. 

Freeman-United Mine 

The entire Freeman-United mine area was inven- 
toried for cultural resources through New Mexico 
State University (Preslar et al., 1977). A total of 25 
sites were located, all of which are lithic and his- 
toric Navajo sites. Because Freeman-United did not 
provide information on mine facility location or on 
mining sequence, the exact number of sites impact- 
ed cannot be determined. It is estimated that 1 to 8 
would be impacted by 1985, and 8 to 12 by 1990. 

Gallo Wash Pits 3 and 4 

No cultural resource inventories have been made 
in this area. Given the relatively small area of 
disturbance, and the terrain of the region, it is 
extimated that 1 to 4 sites would be impacted by 
1990. 

Star Lake East Mine 

No cultural resource inventories have been made 
in this mine area. The BLM inventory for this ES 
(Huse, et al, 1978) was used as the basis for esti- 
mates. It is estimated that 1 to 4 sites would be 
impacted by 1985, and 2 to 7 by 1990. 

Other Areas of Federal Coal Interest 

The Museum of New Mexico (Royte, 1976) and 
the BLM inventory (Huse et al., 1978) covered 
other areas of interest in Federal coal. These inven- 
tories do not correspond to direct impact areas. 
Nonetheless, this information plus the known cul- 
tural resources in the area indicates high archae- 
ological importance for these areas. Of particular 
significance is the presence of Pierre's Site (see 
Map II- 16), a large Puebloan complex, and a pre- 
historic road linking Chaco Canyon with other out- 
lying Chacoan pueblos in northern New Mexico. 
The site is presently in the process of nomination 
to the National Register of Historic Places as an 
archaeological district. Although not subject to im- 
mediate direct impacts, increased activity in the 
area would damage the sites and road. Other cul- 
tural resources include the full range of occupa- 
tions found within the San Juan Basin, with a rela- 



tively high density. It is estimated that 8 to 20 sites 
may be destroyed by 1990. 

Socioeconomic Conditions 

Social and economic impacts for the full-devel- 
opment scenario are given in Table VIII-8. Popula- 
tion in the ES Region due to the coal-related de- 
velopment would increase by more than 18,000 by 
1990. Employment directly related to the develop- 
ment would increase by 8,000 and indirect employ- 
ment would increase by nearly 6,500. The coal- 
related developments would create a 10.5 percent 
increase in needed educational facilities and 8.0 
percent for health facilities and law enforcement 
and fire protection personnal. Water use would in- 
crease 8.8 percent. Local government income 
would increase 11.1 percent while expenditures in- 
crease 5.1 percent. 

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION 
ALTERNATIVES 

The Star Lake Railroad would provide an im- 
portant part of the infrastructure necessary for coal 
development in parts of the region. The route as- 
sessed in the site specific and regional analysis was 
selected by the SLR as the one most efficiently 
meeting the transportation demand it perceived ex- 
isting in the area. The alternatives presented by 
SLR were within a rather narrowly defined corri- 
dor, with Prewitt as the point at which the railroad 
would join the Santa Fe system. The ES team 
considered corridors that would join the Santa Fe 
system at alternative points, and that would join 
the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. 
The ES team also considered two non-rail alterna- 
tives that may be proposed if the railroad does not 
obtain the necessary certificates and rights-of-way. 
The following section presents the ES team's as- 
sessment of these alternatives. 

Ties to Santa Fe Main Line 

ConPaso Routes 

The Fruitland Formation extends beyond the 
boundaries of the Star Lake-Bisti Coal Region, and 
underlies a large area in the eastern part of the 
Navajo Indian Reservation. Plans to develop coal 
owned by the Tribe have proceeded independently 
from plans to develop coal outside the reservation 
and have resulted in the granting of some coal 
leases. Among those leases is one to a joint venture 
of the Consolidation Coal Company and the El 
Paso Natural Gas Company (ConPaso) (FES 77- 
13). The tract leased to ConPaso lies between the 
Chaco River and the eastern reservation boundary, 
immediately adjacent to the Western Coal Co.'s 
Bisti lease. 



VIII-38 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



ConPaso's plans to market coal have included 
gasification in a plant proposed by the El Paso 
Natural Gas Company (FES 77-03), use as a sup- 
plemental coal source for the proposed expansion 
of the San Juan Power Plant (FES 77-29), and 
shipment to unknown markets off the reservation 
(FES 77-13). To implement this last plan, ConPaso 
has developed plans for a rail line from the coal 
lease near Hunter's Wash to the Santa Fe's Defi- 
ance Branch Line. This line would initially be used 
to ship 4 million tons of coal annually to users off 
the reservation, increasing to as much as 25 million 
tons annually if the gasification plant is not built. 

ConPaso has applied to the Navajo tribe for the 
necessary right-of-way permits for this line and en- 
vironmental review for this line will be conducted 
by the BIA. ConPaso has not applied for common 
carrier authority from the ICC. 

The eastern terminus of the ConPaso line is very 
close to the western terminus of the Star Lake 
Railroad (SLR). An alternative routing for the por- 
tion of the SLR used to tie to the main-line would 
be to extend the ConPaso route to connect with 
the SLR. This alternative would also include parts 
of the SLR proposal between Star Lake and the 
Navajo Reservation and between Pueblo Pintado 
and South Hospah. 

Inside the Reservation, the route would be on 
the south side of Hunters Wash until it reached the 
Chaco River, shifting to a southerly direction until 
reaching Figuerdo Wash, then southwesterly to US 
666, southerly again to SR 264, and finally con- 
necting to the Defiance Branch just outside the 
Carbon Coal Company lease. The total route dis- 
tance from Star Lake to the main-line would be 
approximately 154 miles, including 80 miles from 
the reservation boundary to the existing branch 
line. To serve all mines included in the SLR pro- 
posal would require 1 80 miles of rail line. The SLR 
would require a 27-mile extension to serve the 
ConPaso lease (a total of 141 miles). The ConPaso 
Route alternative, therefore, would require 39 
miles (28 percent) more than the SLR. Assuming 
an average of 24.24 acres of right-of-way required 
per mile of rail line, approximately 945 additional 
acres would be disturbed. 

In general, the ConPaso route (excluding the 
branch line along Hunter Wash) passes through an 
environment somewhat different from that of the 
SLR route. Fossil resources are known to occur 
along the route (Kues, et al., 1977); however, no 
survey is available. The route crosses 11 major 
streams (drainage area greater than 1 8 square miles) 
and about 230 minor streams. Sagebrush comprises 
93 percent of the ground cover and riparian and 
pinyon-juniper comprise approximately 3.5 percent. 
Grama-galleta is not encountered to any significant 
extent by the ConPaso route, which would not 



disturb any Federally listed endangered plant spe- 
cies. No endangered wildlife species are known to 
inhabit the area, although the black-footed ferret 
and the peregrine falcon have been reported in 
northwest New Mexico. 

This alternative would traverse flatter grades be- 
tween the ConPaso lease and the Santa Fe main- 
line than the SLR would traverse between Pueblo 
Pintado and Prewitt. It would have ruling grades 
of 1.00 percent against both loaded and empty 
trains as compared to 1.50 and 1.63, respectively, 
for the SLR. However, the SLR route would have 
a slightly smaller total rise in elevation against 
loads. To maintain grade, however, the alternative 
would require substantially greater earthwork, with 
length and height of fills and length and depth of 
cuts all greater than for the SLR proposal. 

The major concern in the movement of coal is 
the total distance to its ultimate destination. Traffic 
using the ConPaso alternative would enter the 
Santa Fe main-line 57 miles west of where it would 
enter using the SLR. For destinations west of Defi- 
ance this would save 57 miles of haul on the main- 
line, but would add 57 miles to movement going 
east. 

Table VIII- 17 lists the mileage to the main-line, 
the mileage to Prewitt for eastbound traffic, the 
mileage to Defiance for westbound traffic and the 
ton miles to these points (west of Defiance and east 
of Prewitt, the rail haul for this alternative or the 
Star Lake Railroad would be identical) for the 
mines in the proposed action using the SLR, for 
both this alternative and for the Star Lake Rail- 
road. 

Between common points, the ConPaso alterna- 
tive would require approximately 212 percent 
greater freight movements. 

Another option of this alternative would be to 
construct both connections to the main-line - a 
total of 207 miles of rail line. This alignment would 
provide added flexibility and would eliminate back- 
tracking along the main-line. As a result, approxi- 
mately 28 percent less transportation movement 
would be necessary and, assuming an average fuel 
efficiency of 270 net ton miles per gallon, approxi- 
mately 5.6 million gallons of diesel fuel would be 
saved annually. 

Under this option, coal traffic could be routed to 
avoid the urban area of Gallup. This line would 
also have greater capacity to handle traffic than 
either the Star Lake Railroad or the ConPa;o 
alone. This is not an issue of importance since even 
at the high level of production, either the Star 
Lake alignment or the ConPaso alternative could 
handle the movement of all coal destined to points 
outside the region. 

The only advantage of this option is derived 
from the movement of coal; the coal going west 



VIII-39 



Table VTII-17 
COMPARISON OP CONPASO AND STAR LAKE RAILROAD ROUTES 



Mine 



ConPaso Route 
South Hospah 
Star Lake 
Alamito 

Star Lake Railroad Route 
South Hospah 
Star Lake 
Alamito 



Miles to 
Main-line 


Miles 
Common 


to 
Pt. 


Ton miles 
(millions ) 


13 1 * 


191 




668 


157 


214 




1,498 


116 


116 




696 



Total 2,862 



28 


28 


98 


71 


71 


497 


69 


126 


756 



Total 



1,351 



VIII-40 



Regional Analysis 



Alternatives 



would use the western route and the coal going 
east would use the eastern route. 

Bernalillo Route 

There are other possible routes by which the 
proposed coal production could be transported to 
the Santa Fe main-line. These routes, however, 
would require substantially more construction 
without any significant environmental advantages. 

One such route would follow a westerly align- 
ment from the main-line at Bernalillo to Star Lake. 
In 1929 and 1930, a rail line operated between coal 
mines near La Ventana and Bernalillo. The alterna- 
tive alignment would follow the route of the old 
line and be extended to Star Lake where it would 
meet the SLR (Map VIII-11). 

No survey of the remains of the former line is 
available. However, 50 years of neglect would 
most likely require that the entire line be construct- 
ed from scratch. Approximately 172 miles of rail 
line would be required to serve the mines for the 
proposed action. This is approximately 66 percent 
more than the SLR. This route would require a 
bridge over the Rio Grande River as well as sub- 
stantial amounts of grading between La Ventana 
and Star Lake. Another obvious problem with this 
route is that all coal traffic would be routed 
through the city of Albuquerque, maximizing such 
impacts as delay and grade crossing accidents. 
Other aspects of rail operations, such as air pollu- 
tion and noise generation, would have a greater 
impact because more people would be exposed. 

An obvious advantage of this route is the direct 
rail access to the proposed La Ventana mine, 
which could produce one million tons of coal an- 
nually. This coal is not addressed in the SLR pro- 
posal. If it were to be served by the SLR, a 30 mile 
extension from Star Lake would be necessary. Rail 
movements from Star Lake to Texas through Belen 
would be approximately 35 miles shorter than by 
the SLR. However, from Alamito to Arizona 
through Belen would require about 165 additional 
miles. 

Ties to Denver and Rio Grande Western 

Another alternative would be to provide rail 
service from the area of proposed coal mines to a 
Class I railroad other than the Santa Fe. The near- 
est such railroad is the Denver and Rio Grande 
Western Railroad (D&RGW), which operates in 
southern Colorado. Although the closest service is 
presently at Antonito, as recently as 1969 the 
D&RGW provided service to Farmington. A route 
from the study area through Farmington to Anton- 
ito could be considered as a logical alternative. 

The conceptual D&RGW route developed for 
this alternative includes the former D&RGW align- 
ment between Antonito and Farmington, a 10-mile 



segment along the San Juan River from Farming- 
ton to the San Juan Power Plant, the route pro- 
posed by ConPaso between the power plant and its 
coal lease, and the portions of the SLR which 
were also incorporated into the ConPaso route al- 
ternative. The Antonito branch is a Category A 
branch line and would most likely have to be sub- 
stantially upgraded along the 106 miles to the 
D&RGW main-line at Walsenburg. 

Construction of the 377 miles of new rail for the 
D&RGW route alternative would be much more 
difficult and expensive than either of the alternative 
routes previously discussed. The rail line between 
Antonito and Farmington was originally a standard 
gauge line, but the severe grades and curves result- 
ed in it being converted to a narrow gauge. 
Modern high capacity rail lines have fairly rigid 
design standards, with the maximum adverse grade 
against loads limited to approximately 1.5 percent 
and the maximum main-line curve limited to 4 de- 
grees. These standards could be met as far as Du- 
rango, but between Durango and Antonito the 
former D&RGW narrow gauge line had 467 
curves greater than 10 degrees, 130 curves greater 
than 20 degrees and a maximum curvature of 24 
degrees. The maximum eastbound (direction 
against load) ascending grade between Durango 
and Chama was 2 percent and between Chama and 
Cumbres it was 4 percent. It is apparent that sub- 
stantial cut and fill and a large number of struc- 
tures would be necessary to meet the standards. 

The known markets for coal produced in the 
region are in Texas and Arizona. The D&RGW 
route alternative would require hauls longer than 
the SLR. Between the Star Lake Mine and Amaril- 
lo, Texas, the D&RGW route would be 200 miles 
longer; between the Alamito Mine and Arizona, 
the D&RGW route would be 800 miles longer. 

From an environmental standpoint, this alterna- 
tive would have substantially greater impacts. Con- 
struction would disturb significantly more land, 
and require deeper cuts and higher fills. Operation 
would consume significantly more fuel, and gener- 
ate more air pollutants and noise over a wider area. 

About 100 miles of the former D&RGW route is 
being operated as a seasonal scenic narrow gauge 
line. This popular excursion (Cumbres and Toltec 
Scenic Railroad) would be destroyed by this alter- 
native. This route would have the positive impact 
of bringing rail service to a part of Colorado and 
New Mexico that has been lacking rail transporta- 
tion for almost 10 years, which, in turn, could 
stimulate economic growth in the area. 



VIII-41 




LEGEND 



CHACO CANYON NATIONAL PARK 

BORDER OF ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMEMT REGION 



I | [ AT & SF MAIN LINE RAILROAD 
A A ALTERNATE RAIL ROUTE 

MAP Vlll-ll. ALTERNATE RAIL ROUTE FROM BERNALILLO TO BISTI 



VIII-42 



Regional Analysis 

Other Means of Coal Transportation 

Slurry Pipeline 

Coal slurry pipelines have been proposed in 
other regions of the country as alternatives to rail 
for the bulk movement of coal. In the Star Lake- 
Bisti Coal Region, however, slurry pipelines would 
-not be a practical alternative because of the lack of 
available water. 

Surface waters in the region are fully appropri- 
ated and ground waters are limited. Shipment of 
16.5 million tons of coal from the South Hospah, 
Alamito and Star Lake Mines by slurry could re- 
quire over 12,000 acre feet of water annually. As a 
result, implementation of a slurry alternative could 
be accomplished only by exchanging water rights 
with other users. (Refer to the Hydrology Sections 
in Chapters II and IV.) A closed system slurry line 
might be possible. In this operation, the water is 
recovered from the slurry and returned by means 
of a second parallel pipeline, to be reused. Such a 
system has not yet been developed on a large scale 
due to excessively high costs. 



Alternatives 

Trucks 

The comparative inefficiency of motor carriers 
would prevent their use for the long haul of coal. 
Trucks could serve, however, as an alternative to 
the SLR for delivering coal to the main-line. From 
that point the coal would move by rail to its ulti- 
mate destination. 

Approximately 1,830 round trips daily (one truck 
every 47 seconds each direction) by 25-ton capac- 
ity trucks would be necessary to haul the 16.5 
million tons of coal to the Santa Fe mail-line. No 
road in the vicinity of the SLR could withstand 
this level of use. New heavy-duty roads, therefore, 
would have to be built. 

A truck alternative to the SLR would consume 
approximately 18.3 gallons of diesel fuel annually 
to haul the same amount of freight to Prewitt. This 
is approximately 14.3 million gallons (350 percent) 
more than the railroad, and would be equal to 17 
percent of the diesel fuel consumed on highways in 
New Mexico in 1975. As shown in Table VIII-18, 
the amount of air pollutant emissions would be 
similarly higher. 

A highway constructed to implement this alter- 
native would be a public road and, as such, would 
be used by the general public. The frequency of 
accidents involving both coal movement and the 
general public would be much greater with this 
alternative than with the SLR. 



Table VIII-18 

AIR POLLUTANT EMISSIONS FROM COMBUSTION OF DIESEL FUEL BY 
TRUCKS AND THE SLR 



Pollutant 



Emissions (t/yr) 



Trucks 



SLR 



Carbon Monoxide 
Hydrocarbons 
Nitrogen Oxides 
Sulfur Oxides 
Particulates 



1,215.5 

257 
1,980 

203 

102 



257 
187 
730 
113 
49 



VIII-43 



CHAPTER IX 



CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 



THIS CHAPTER OUTLINES THE PREPARATION OF THE 
ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT, THE HISTORY OF CONSULTATION 
AND COORDINATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES, INSTITUTIONS AND 
GROUPS, THE COMMENTS RECEIVED ON THE DRAFT, AND THE 
RESPONSES TO THESE COMMENTS. 



CHAPTER IX 
CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 



The initial sections of this chapter are devoted to 
team organization, consultation and coordination 
during the preparation and review of the Draft 
Environmental Statement (DES), and a summary 
of comments received on the DES. Letters con- 
cerning the DES are reproduced in the final sec- 
tion of the chapter, together with responses to 
comments that were made. 

TEAM ORGANIZATION 

The Associate Director of the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) assigned the New Mexico 
State Director of the BLM lead responsibility for 
this ES. The document was prepared jointly with 
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Other inter- 
agency involvement included the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USF&WS), the U.S. Bureau of 
Mines (USBM), and the Interstate Commerce 
Commission (ICC). 

The following items were agreed upon at inter- 
agency meetings and implemented during the 
course of statement development. 

1. The expertise of the BLM team that was es- 
tablished represented broad categories of environ- 
mental concerns, including socioeconomics, soils, 
vegetation, wildlife, cultural resources, paleontol- 
ogy, air quality, aesthetics, agriculture, and recrea- 
tion. The USGS provided expertise in mining engi- 
neering, hydrology, and geology. The USBM pro- 
vided expertise in mineral resources, the USF&W 
in wildlife, and the ICC in transportation. 

2. The ES team office was established in the 
Albuquerque District Office of the BLM. 

3. Administrative and clerical support were pro- 
vided by the BLM. 

4. Special services to assemble and analyze re- 
search material and provide consultant assistance 
were secured by contract. 

PREPARATION OF THE DES 

As an integral part of the preparation process, 
consultation and coordination were carried out 
with governmental agencies, academic institutions, 
representatives of private industry, special interest 
groups, and members of the general public. The 
consultation process was handled through direct 



contacts with agencies and other organized bodies, 
and through general public meetings. 

Contacts with Governmental Agencies, Institutions, 
and Groups 

1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conser- 
vation Service, New Mexico State Office. Data 
was provided on prime farmland in the ES Region. 

2. U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service. A request for formal consultation 
under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973 was submitted to the USF&WS on April 18, 
1977. The response, received on August 24, 1977, is 
on file at the BLM Albuquerque District Office. 

3. U.S. Department of the Interior, National 
Park Service. The National Park Service has iden- 
tified numerous areas of high archaeological signifi- 
cance in the vicinity of Chaco Canyon National 
Monument. Maps and other data concerning these 
areas have been supplied to BLM by the Superin- 
tendent of the monument. Impacts on these tracts 
of land were considered in the evaluation of ar- 
chaeological resources in the ES Region. National 
Park Service concerns will be considered contin- 
ually in regional coal plans. 

4. New Mexico Educational Finance and Cultur- 
al Affairs Department, Administrative Services Di- 
vision, Historic Preservation Bureau. The BLM has 
entered into formal consultation with the Historic 
Preservation Officer, under the applicable portions 
of 36 CFR 63, 36 CFR 800, and the Memorandum 
of Understanding between the BLM and this offi- 
cer. An 18 percent sample of the 421 sites found 
during the archaeological survey of the ES Region 
were reviewed for eligibility to the National Regis- 
ter of Historic Places. Forty-five of these sites 
were determined to be eligible and are being nomi- 
nated to the register (Appendix B, Figure B-2). 

5. New Mexico Health and Environment Depart- 
ment, Environmental Improvement Division. Data 
on New Mexico State water quality regulations 
were provided by the staff. 

6. New Mexico Natural Resources Department, 
Water Resources Division. Data on plans for water 
development in northwestern New Mexico were 
provided by personnel on the staff of the State 
Engineer. 



IX-1 



Regional Analysis 



Consultation and Coordination 



7. Consultation on governmental planning took 
place with the following agencies: State of New 
Mexico Planning Office, McKinley Area Council 
of Governments, Middle Rio Grande Council of 
Government, the City of Cuba, and City Planners 
for the communities of Aztec, Bloomfield, Far- 
mington, Gallup, Grants, and Milan. 

8. Simultaneously with the development of the 
DES, the BLM has been engaged in the develop- 
ment of a management program for paleontological 
resources, in accordance with the FLPMA. Exten- 
sive consultation has taken place with government 
agencies, universities, museums, and special interest 
groups. Due to its length, the full listing of these 
agencies and organizations has been included in the 
paleontology section of Appendix B. 

Public Meetings 

On October 12, 1976, a public meeting, cospon- 
sored by BLM and the New Mexico Energy Re- 
sources Board, was held at the Hilton Inn in Albu- 
querque, New Mexico. Approximately 120 people 
attended this meeting. The primary purpose of the 
meeting was to solicit coal and coal-related devel- 
opment plans from industry representatives to be 
used in the preparation of the Star Lake-Bisti Re- 
gional ES. At the meeting it was announced that 
industry representatives were to submit their 
mining plans and right-of-way applications to the 
BLM by December 1, 1976. 

A press release announced a summary of the 
proposals received from industry. A presentation of 
the scope of expected development in the region 
was made to the public, local television, the Albu- 
querque District Advisory Board, the Northwest 
New Mexico Resources Council, the New Mexico 
Public Service Commission, and the New Mexico 
Energy Resources Board. 

On June 22, 1977, a public meeting was held at 
the Hilton Inn in Albuquerque. Information was 
gathered from the public on Federal lands pro- 
posed for coal development that are discussed in 
the ES. About 60 people attended the meeting. 
Significant subjects raised were paleontological re- 
sources, Chaco Canyon National Monument, and 
other cultural resources in the region. 

REVIEW OF THE DES 

Availability of the Document 

The DES was made available to the public on 
September 29, 1978. Copies were available upon 
request from the Albuquerque District Office of 
the BLM. In addition, copies of the DES were 
available for public inspection at the locations 
listed below. 



Bureau of Land Management 

Albuquerque District Office 

3550 Pan American Freeway, N.E. 

P.O. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

(505) 766-2455 

Farmington Resource Area Office 

900 La Plata Highway 

P.O. Box 568 

Farmington, New Mexico 87401 

(505) 325-3581 

Oklahoma Project Office 

200 N.W. Fifth Street, Room 548 

P.O. Box 16 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102 

(405)231-4481 

Las Cruces District Office 
1705 North Valley Drive 
P.O. Box 1420 

Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001 
(505) 523-5571 

Roswell District Office 
1717 W. Second Street 
Featherstone Farm's Building 
P.O. Box 1397 
Roswell, New Mexico 88201 
(505) 622-7673 

Socorro District Office 
200 Neel Avenue, N.W. 
P.O. Box 1217 
Socorro, New Mexico 87801 
(505) 835-0412 

New Mexico State Office 

U.S. Post Office Building, South Federal Place 

P.O. Box 1449 

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 

(505)988-6217 

Denver Service Center Library 
Denver Federal Center, Bldg. 50 
Denver, Colorado 80225 
(303)234-3131 

Office of Public Affairs 
18th and C Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20240 
(202) 343-4151 

U.S. Geological Survey 

District Mining Geologist 
P.O. Box 959 

Farmington, New Mexico 87401 
(505) 325-4572 

Area Mining Supervisor 
Western Bank Building, Room 1027 
505 Marquette Street, N.W. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 
(505) 766-2841 

Regional Manager 

7200 W. Alameda Avenue 

Villa Italia 

Lakewood, Colorado 80226 

(303) 234-2855 

Office of the Director 
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive 
Reston, Virginia 22092 



IX-2 



Regional Analysis 

(703)860-7411 

Public Libraries 

Albuquerque City Library 
501 Copper Avenue, N.W. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 
(505) 766-7880 

University of New Mexico 
Zimmerman Library 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131 
(505) 277-5057 

Farmington City Library 
302 North Orchard Avenue 
Farmington, New Mexico 87401 
(505) 325-2783 

Gallup Public Library 
115 W. Hill Avenue 
Gallup, New Mexico 87301 
(505) 863-3692 

Grants Public Library 
525 W. High 

Grants, New Mexico 87020 
(505) 287-4793 

Branigan Memorial Library 
106 West Hadley Avenue 
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001 
(505) 523-7441 

Roswell Public Library 
127 West 3rd Street 
Roswell, New Mexico 88201 
(505) 622-7101 

Santa Fe Public Library 
121 Washington Avenue 
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 
(505) 982-3824 

Socorro Public Library 

401 Park, S.W. 

Socorro, New Mexico 87801 

(505)835-1114 

Written Comments 

The DES and a letter requesting comments were 
sent to the Federal agencies, State Clearing House, 
local and Tribal agencies, and special interest 
groups listed below. Those responding are marked 
with an asterisk (*). All letters received in reply to 
this request are reproduced in the concluding por- 
tion of this chapter, accompanied by responses to 
comments contained in these letters. 

Federal 

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation* 
Department of Agriculture 

Soil Conservation Service 

U.S. Forest Service* 
Department of Commerce* 
Department of Defense 
Department of Energy* 

Department of Health, Education and Welfare* 
Department of Housing and Urban Development* 
Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Indian Affairs* 

Bureau of Mines* 



Consultation and Coordination 

Bureau of Reclamation* 

Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service* 

National Park Service* 

Office of Surface Mining* 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service* 

U.S. Geological Survey* 
Department of Labor 

Mine Safety and Health Administration* 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
Department of Transportation 
Environmental Protection Agency* 
Interstate Commerce Commission 
Water Resources Council 



State 



The New Mexico State Clearing House coordinated com- 
ments from all interested state agencies. 



Local 



County Commissioners 

McKinley* 

Rio Arriba 

Sandoval 

San Juan 
Mayors (cities, villages, unincorporated communities) 

Aztec 

Bloomfield 

Crownpoint 

Cuba 

Farmington 

Gallup 

Grants 

Milan 

San Ysidro 

Thoreau 

Tribal 

Office of the Navajo Tribal Chairman 
Presidents, Navajo Off-Reservation Chapters 

Baca 

Crownpoint 

Lake Valley 

Nageeze 

Ojo Encino 

Pueblo Pintado 

Torreon 

Nongovernmental Organizations 

American Institute of Mining Engineers 

American Mining Congress 

American Sportman's Club 

Central New Mexico Audubon Society* 

Cuba Livestock Grazing Association 

Ecological Society 

Friends of the Earth 

Izaak Walton League 

National Council of Public Land Users 

National Resources Defense Council 

National Wildlife Federation 

New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association 

New Mexico Natural History Institute* 

New Mexico Wildlife Federation 

Paleontological Society 

Rio Puerco Grazing Association 

School of American Research 

Sierra Club* 

Society for Range Management (New Mexico Section) 

Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists 



IX-3 



Regional Analysis 

Soil Conservation Society of America 
Wilderness Society* 
Wildlife Management Institute 
Wildlife Society 

Oral Testimony 

Public hearings were scheduled to provide a 
forum for oral testimony on the DES. The public 
was informed of these hearings through notice in 
the Federal Register, news releases, and postings of 
specific hearing dates. 

Five public hearings were held. Presiding at the 
hearings was John R. Rampton, Jr., Administrative 
Law Judge. Testimony was presented to a 3- 
member panel representing the BLM. Panel mem- 
bers included L. Paul Applegate, District Manager, 
Albuquerque District; Robert Calkins, Area Man- 
ager, Farmington Resource Area; and Dennis 
Erhart, Planning and Environmental Coordination 
Staff, New Mexico State Office. Table IX- 1 sum- 
marizes the dates, locations, attendance, and 
number of individuals that testified at these hear- 
ings. Due to their length, hearing transcripts are 
not reproduced here, but the complete transcripts 
are available for public inspection at the Albuquer- 
que District Office of the BLM. 

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS ON THE 
DES 

The following is a summary of all written and 
oral comments received on the DES. Federal agen- 
cies generally found the environmental assessment 
to be adequate. Several agencies contributed addi- 
tional information on water, air, cultural resources, 
and socioeconomics which they believe should be 
included before a decision is reached. Commonly 
cited was a time frame too short to reflect the 
reality of development, failure to consider uranium 
developments in the region, and failure to enlarge 
the ES Region to include Indian reservations. 

New Mexico State agencies were concerned 
with the interrelationships of uranium and coal de- 
velopment. Specific questions were asked concern- 
ing water supply and distribution, and the socio- 
economic problems associated with increased popu- 
lation. 

Responses from local governments reflected a 
concern with projected shortages of water, social 
services, and public facilities. 

Navajo Indians expressed numerous concerns. 
The time frame and boundaries of the ES Region 



Consultation and Coordination 

were cited as being too limited. Tribal agencies and 
individual Indians requested information on surface 
land ownership. A concern was expressed that pro- 
posed uranium developments should have been in- 
tegrated into the document. Comments also reflect- 
ed concerns over railroad service for passengers 
and goods, railroad grade separations and livestock 
underpasses, water supply, effects of development 
upon traditional Navajo religion, increases in popu- 
lation, the cost of living, and social service needs, 
job preferences for Navajos, and hardships of 
family relocation. A general feeling was expressed 
that the Federal Government should have made 
greater efforts to inform Navajos of the DES and 
its contents. 

Comments from individuals and special interest 
groups represented a continuum from pro- to anti- 
mining positions. Most letters, however, expressed 
deep concern for the protection of paleontological 
resources (especially of the Bisti Badlands), archeo- 
logical sites, geomorphology, proposed wilderness 
areas, wildlife, and water supplies. Many respond- 
ents felt that additional alternatives should have 
been considered. Requests for information about 
surface ownership of land were common. 

Energy companies generally expressed the views 
that environmental impacts were overstated, and 
that the DES failed to consider all developments 
that are proposed for the ES Region. Many sug- 
gested that the document be enlarged to include 
these developments, in order to promote a better 
public understanding of all projects. 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES 

The remainder of this chapter is devoted to com- 
ments received in the review process of the DES, 
and the responses to these comments. Responses to 
oral comments were made only for issues not ad- 
dressed in the responses to written comments. 

All comments were considered. Responses were 
made to comments that presented new data, ques- 
tioned facts or analyses, or raised issues bearing 
directly upon the environmental effects of the pro- 
posed actions or the alternatives to the proposed 
actions. In many cases, these responses entailed re- 
visions in the text. No response was made to com- 
ments not addressing the adequacy of the DES. 

As a convenience, indexes have been included in 
this section. These indexes list agencies, institutions, 
organizations, and individuals that commented on 
the DES. These lists are numbered. The numbers 
are combined with letters that identify specific 
comments to which responses were made. 



IX-4 



TABLE IX-1 

SUMMARY OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ON 
THE DRAFT STAR LAKE-BISTI REGIONAL COAL ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT 







Location in 




Number 


Date 


Time 


New Mexico 


Attendance 


Testifying 


14 November 1978 


2:00 PM 


Farmlngton 


26 





14 November 1978 


7:00 PM 


Farmlngton 


54 


3 


15 November 1978 


1:00 PM 


Crownpoint 


67 


7 


16 November 1978 


2:00 PM 


Albuquerque 


67 


4 


16 November 1978 


7:00 PM 


Albuquerque 
TOTALS 


60 


6 




274 


20 



IX-5 



INDIVIDUALS SPEAKING AT PUBLIC HEARINGS 
November 11, 1978 - Farrcington, New Mexico 



Index 
No. 



Speaker (Representing) 

Hank Pohlmann 
(Geologist, Pohlmann & 
Associates) 

Sheridan Glen 
(Arch Minerals) 

Ike Holiday 
(Private citizen) 



16. 



17. 



18. 



19. 



20. 



November 15, 1978 - Crownpoint, New Mexico 

1. Joseph F. Gmuca 
(Attorney, DNA) 

5. Bob Becenti 

(Becenti Chapter, Community 
Health) 

6. Cecil Largo 

(Navajo Board of Human Rights 
Association) 

7. Paul Frye 
(Attorney, DNA) 

8. Raymond Arviso 

(Chairman, New Mexico Ranchers' 
Association, Navajo Nation) 

9. Art Holyan 
(Vice-Chairman , New Mexico 
Ranchers' Association, Navajo 
Nation) 

10. John Martinez 

(Land Board, District 20) 

November 16, 1978 - Albuquerque, New 
Mexico 

11. Rosemary Springer 
(President, Natural History 
Resource Hgmt.j Coordinator, 
New Mexico Paleontological Task 
Force) 

12. Ruth Bronson 

(Committee of Conservation and 
Multiple Use of Public Lands, 
Rocky Mountain Federation of 
Mineralogical Societies) 

13- Peter Reser 

(Private citizen) 

11. John Redhouse 

(Member, New Mexico State 
Advisory Committee to U.S. Civil 
Rights Commission) 

15. John C. Davis 

(Executive Vice President, The 
Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe 
Railway Company) 



John Tiwald 

(President, Albuquerque Sierra 

Club) 

Jack Kutz 
(Private citizen) 

Barry S. Kues 
(Paleontologist) 

Paul Robinson 
(Southwest Research and 
Information Center) 

Richard Eitzen 
(Environmental Coordinator, 
Public Service Company of New 
Mexico) 



COMMENTS AND RESPONSES 

1. Comment : Among these areas is the 
section on visual resources 
which explains the 
procedure developed by BLM 
by which visual resources 
are identified, mapped and 
managed. Relative 

importance of a variety of 
landscape features within 
an area is keyed and given 
a quality rating of A, B or 
C. Ar, overlay of the 
preference right lease 
areas which Arch has 
applied for, shows that one 

entire mining unit falls 
under a Class A visual 
resource rating. We are 
worried because of the fact 
that we have no idea how 
this correlates with the 
Class 1 and Class 2 areas 
and whether or not these 
lease areas are then 
subject to the proposed 
suitability criteria. If, 
for instance the Class A 
factors, in combination 
with transportation 
capabilities and other 
factors, allege that this 
area is eligible for a 
Class 1 distinction, how 
would this be treated 
vis-a-vis the fact that 
Arch is legally entitled to 
these leases since 
commercial quantities have 
been proven. (Commenter 
No. 1) 

Response : Refer to Table 11-11 
for components of each VRM class. 
The Class A rating refers only to the 
scenic quality of the area, which is 
one of the three components used in 
the BLM's Visual Resource Management 
system. VRM classes are established 
following procedures outlined in BLM 
Manual 6310. 



IX-6 



Individual mining and reclamation 
plans will be considered under the 
BLM's unsuitability criteria as each 
proposed plan is submitted for 
assessment. 

Comment : The Utah International coal 
mining operation has been 
present on the Navajo 
Reservation for about 15 
years and I ask the 
question, have some 
spiritual values been 
destroyed and could the BLK 
be specific and name the 
values. (Commenter No. 2) 



Response : Spiritual values have been 
affected to the extent that 
industrial development disturbs the 
balance traditionally believed by the 
Navajos to be required between the 
earth and its inhabitants. 

Comment : The part about the cost of 
living would increase and 
hurt the fixed income 
people, would it not work 
the other way around. Why 
not start training these 
fixed income people to take 
on some of the jobs that 
would be created. Why does 
the BLM assume fixed income 
people will always remain 
in that condition? 
(Commenter No. 2) 

Response : Fixed-income people are 
those who have retired or who for 
other reasons are not in the ranks of 
those generally considered to be 
employable, but who have established 
a regular but invariable (in amount) 
source of income. 

Comment : What is the impact of 
people who have the unique 
position in the world of 
being able to live with 
their history, of seeing a 
200 year old Navajo site 
every day when they graze, 
their sheep. What is the 
impact on a group of 
teachers seeing their 
history plowed under, their 
sacred places destroyed, is 
not treated here. What is 
the impact on the 
traditional people's 
lifestyle when they see 
this type of devastation 
occur. The people have a 
very unique religion that 
has not been treated in 
conjunction with the 
discussion on the 
archeological sites. This 
needs to be done. 
(Commenter No. 7) 



Response : Unfortunately, the 
relationship of Navajo religion to 
archeological sites is not well 
known, and Navajos have not mentioned 
it in their comments to this ES. 
Since the receipt of your comment, 
the BLM has contacted other Federal 
agencies and the Navajo Community 
College. We have learned that both 
Navajo and Anasazi archeological 
sites are considered to be homes of 
ancestors and are integral to Navajo 
religion, including views of health 
and illness. Many sites are sacred 
and associated with legendary events. 
Some of these sites important to all 
Navajo people have been identified as 
to specific location. Most sacred 
places, though, are unknown to 
non-Navajos, and many are unknown to 
Navajos outside the immediate area of 
their location. Additionally, the 
sacredness of sites precludes release 
of information which may result in 
tourist visitation. A National Park 
Service - Chaco Center contract 
entitled "The Study of Contemporary 
Navajo Settlement Near Prehistoric 
Anasazi Communities in Northwestern 
New Mexico" is now underway and 
should be a valuable addition to the 
sparse literature now existing. 

Future environmental assessments of 
site-specific proposed actions will 
be restricted to smaller , more 
manageable areas of land. Local and 
regional sacred places should be 
considered in such documents, for 
those places are indeed cultural 
resources to be protected. The 
difficult task of location and 
protection will be accomplished only 
if the Navajo people also feel that 
the resource must be identified in 
order to be protected. 

Comment : The map doesn't show where 
the [railroad] stations are 
or where the stops are. 
(Commenter No. 10) 

Response : The Star Lake Railroad 
line IF expected to be used by unit 
coal trains only at first, which do 

not use conventional stations or 
stops. Stations or stops for other 
usage would be determined at a later 
time as needs develop. 

Comment : The ES also fails to 
mention the significance of 
the Raymond Toledo, et el. 
v. Jimmy Carter, et al. 
case. (Commenter No. 14) 

Response : The court case alluded to 
in this comment is titled Raymond 
Toledo, et aj.. , v. C. Andrus, et al. 
It is filed in the U.S. District 
Court for the District of Columbia, 
under Docket Number 77-0815, and 
concerns the determination of the 
boundaries of the Navajo Reservation. 
As noted in the hearing, it is still 
an active case. 



IX-7 



Index of Written Comments* 

1. Plains Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, 
Inc. 

2. Energy and Minerals Department, State of New Mexico 

3. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration 

4. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation 

5. The New Mexico Natural History Institute 

6. Dr. Jason Lillegraven, Department of Geology, University of 
Wyoming 

7. Western Coal Co. 

8. Public Service Co. of New Mexico 

9. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

10. New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Minerals Resources 

11. David W. Love, Geology Department, University of New Mexico 

12. U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining 

13. County of McKinley, Board of Commissioners 

14. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation 

15. The Wilderness Society 

16. Salt River Project 

17. Consolidation Coal Co. 

18. New Mexico Wilderness Study Committee 

19. Central New Mexico Audubon Society 

20. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service 

21. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
Navajo Area Office and Eastern Navajo Agency 

22. Environmental Improvement Division (Department of Health and 
Environment), and the State Engineer's Office, State of New 
Mexico 

23. El Paso Natural Gas Co. 

24. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service 

IX-8 



25. Star Lake Railroad Co. 

26. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club 

27. Health and Social Services Department, State of New Mexico 

28. Southwest Research and Information Center 

29. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

30. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 



*0ther letters commenting on the ES but not requiring a response 
are printed in a subsequent section of this chapter. 



IX-9 






| PLAINS EL ECTRIC GENERATION AND TRANSMISSION COOPERATIVE, INC. 



Ol-A 



Ol-t 



November 14, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate, District Manager 
Bureau of Land Management 
3550 Pan American Freeway N.E. 
Post Office Box 6770 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Re: Star Lake - Bistl Regional Coal EIS 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

Plains Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Inc., 
(Plains) would like to express its gratitude foV the opportunity to 
comment on the Star Lake - Bisti Regional Coal Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement (DEIS). Overall the DEIS is comprehensive and well 
done. However, based upon our review, certain sections are incomplete 
with regard to utility-related Information. We would like to indicate 
those items which we feel should be considered during the environ- 
mental Impact analysis but do not presently appear in the Draft EIS. 
These items are presented below under the categories of General Comments 
and Specific Comments: 

General Comments 

1. The Fruitland Coal 230 KV Transmission Line Is a Public Service 
Company of New Mexico (PNM) and Plains joint project line. As 
presented in the EIS, it appears as though the line is solely 
owned by PNM. We request that this be clarified in the Final EIS. 

2. Several significant projects which will or presently occur in the 
study area have not been discussed in the Draft EIS: 

A. Plains Coal-Fired Power Plant which is to be constructed 

In McKinley County near Prewitt, New Mexico. (Township IAN 
Range 12W) 

B. The Railroad Spur associated with the proposed Coal-Fired 
Power Plant. 



0] . Star Lake Project (Sandoval County) 115 KV Transmission 
Line and Substation. 

D2. Carbon Coal Project (McKinley County) a 115 KV Transmission 
Line from Yah-Ta-Hey Substation to a delivery point approxi- 
mately 3 miles Southwest. 

D3. Gallup Yah-Ta-Hey (McKinley County) 115 KV Transmission Line 
from Gallup Substation to the Yah-Ta-Hey Substation. 

DA. Smith Lake Substation in the Crownpoint, New Mexico area. 

D5. Yah-Ta-Hey to Lupton, Arizona (McKinley County) 115 KV 

Transmission Line from Yah-Ta-Hey Substation to a delivery 
point near Lupton, Arizona. 

D6. United Freeman Mining (Star Lake - Johnson) 115 KV Trans- 
mission Line from the Star Lake Substation to the Freeman- 
United Substation. 

Information concerning most of the above items was submitted to 
BLM in December of 1976 and as part of the 10-ycar Forecast of major 
construction projects for electric utilities in New Mexico dated 
June 29, 1977. Inclusion of the above mentioned items will affect a 
large number of the tables and maps presented in the Draft EIS (Regional 
and Site Specific Analyses). 

Specific Commen Ls 

The following comments are oriented towards Specific Chapters or 
Sections of the Draft EIS: 

Regi onal Ana lysis 

Chapter I DESCRIPT ION OF THE PROPOSAL 



C. 



Approximately 28 miles of transmission line 
the proposed power plant. 



s associated with 



D. Several existing and proposed transmission lines in the study 
area have not been considered in the Draft EIS. These trans- 
mission line projects Include but are not limited to the 
following: 



1-C 

1-D 
01-E 

01-F 

01-Gj 
0l-H| 

01-1 



1. Indicate that Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line Right-of-Way 
application is a joint submittal by PNM and Plains. 

2. Map 1-A: Show Plains Proposed Coal-Fired Power Plant near Prewitt. 

3. Under Regional Development Summary: Mention the proposed Plains Plant. 

A. Comment to the effect that the Rural Electrification Administration 
has been proposed as the Lead Agency for the New Mexico Generating 
Station (NMGS) ES no longer applies. Also the 1983 production date 
for NMGS is not correct. 

5. Map 1-5: See comment til. 

6. Possible changes to table 1-2. 

7. Table 1-3: No mention of Plains Plant, etc. 



-3- 



N 



Ol-J 

Ol-K 

Ol-L 

Ol-M 
Ol-N 

Ol-O 



Map B shows "major" pipelines in the study area. There is no ind i ca- 
tion as to what size (diameter) is considered to be a major pipeline. 
The Gas Company of New Mexico (Gasco) 100 mile 8" pipeline from Star 
Lake to Gallup. New Mexico is not shown on Map IB- 
Table 1-7: Several existing and proposed 115 KV and larger lints are 
not listed in this table. 

Table 1-8: The numbers presented under Coal -Fired Generating Scat ions, 
Generating Capacity, Power Lines and Rail Spurs or sidings will change 
with addition of above mentioned information. 

Talbe 1-9 : Numbers will change as indicated in comment ff\0. 

Table 1-10: It. is unlikely that the number presented under "Power 
Lines" for 1977 is correct. 



Table 1-11 : The amounts of water (acre-feet) will change fur the 
Generating Stations category. How will the amounts of water listed 
for the FCI. Transmission Line (1,629,000 gallons of water for 5 years) 
be used? 

Regional Analysis 

Chapter II DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMEN T 

No significant comments on this chapter. 



Regional Analysis 

Chapter III PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTA L CONTROLS 



01-P 
01-Q 
1-R 

01-S 

01-T 



No significant comments on this chapter. 



Regional Analy sis 

Chapter IV ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF T HE PROPOSED ACT JON 

L4. There is no mention of the Plains Proposed Plant in the Resultant 
Regional Air Quality Section. 

15. There is no mention of the Proposed Plains Plant in the Water 
Resources Sec t iun. 

16 . Under Surface Hater: Some men t ion should be made of t lit- bene I i ts 
to wildlife derived from having a permanent surface water source 
in the area . 

17 . Under Sediment : The 1070 tons of sediment added per year by 
construct ion of the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line seems 
to be high. Also this number does not correspond with the 
number of tons of sed iment presented under Wat er Resources in 
Chapter VIII as associated with the FCL Transmission Line. 

18. Under Cul tura 1 Resources : Plains Proposed Plant is not ment iom-d , 
nor is the associated Water Pipeline, and Transitu hi. ion i hn--;. 



oi-u 



Regional Analysis 

Chapter V ADVERSE IMPACTS TI1AT CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

No significant comments on this chapter. 



Regional Analysis 

Chapter VI REL ATIONS))!! 1 BETW EEN SHORT-TERM USES AND LONG -TERM 
PRODUCTIVITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT 

19. Clarification of what is considered to be short-term and long- 
term should be made as an introductory statement. 



Regional Analysis 

Chapter VII IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS 
OF RESOURCES 

No significant comments on this chapter. 



Regional Analysis 

Chapter VIII ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED ACTION 

1-V 20 - Ma P VIII-1: Show Plains Proposed Plant. 

0'1-W|21. Map VIII-5: See comment 020. 

22. Under Water Resources: The amount of sediment load added per 
year from the FCL Transmission Line differs significantly from 
1-X tne amounts discussed in Chapter IV and in Table VIII-12. In 

our opinion, the 160 tons per year appears to be more realistic 
than 1070 tons. 

q ] _y I 23. Under Land Use and Socioeconomics: The Plains Proposed Plant 
needs to be considered. 

01-Z| 24 - Map VIII-7: Set- comment 020. 

01-AA|25. Under Water Resources: See comment 023. 



Reuipnal Analyst s 

C hapt er IX CONSU LTATION AND C OORD INA TION 

No significant comments on this chapter. 



Site Spe cific Anal ysis : Communis under the Site Specific Analysis refer 
to the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line Analysis. (FCLTLA) 



X 

■ 

M 
60 



01-D0 



F.CL.T.L.A . 

Chapter I DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTI ON 

26. Under the chaper 1 heading and explanation: Include the fact that 
1-BB this is a joint proposal to construct the transmission line (PNM 
and Plains) . 

OI-CC 27. Under Background: Include information as indicated in comment #26. 

28. There is no mention of other existing or proposed power lines in 

the area (including those lines associated with the proposed Plains 
plant . 

We present these comments with hopes that they will be of use to 
you during the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement. 
Should you have any questions concerning our comtnenLs or if we can be 
of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact either R. U. Precek 
or myself. 

Very truly yours, 

PLAINS ELECTRIC GENERATION AND 
TRANSMISSIQJtSOOPERATIVE, IMC. 
7> 



JKB/RWP/m 



cc : Art Zimmerman 




St anxey n.. Dd^um x 
Exec. Vice Pres./Cenl Mgr . 

u 



Hesponses to Comments from Plains Flectric 
Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Inc. 

1-A. The text has been revised. 

1-B. The BLM recognizes that the ES (including tables) does not 
include these projects. The proposed Plains Coal-Fired 
Power Generating Plant near Prewitt and associated rail 
spur and transmission lines were not included in this ES 
at this time because site-specific information is 
insufficient for impact assessment. Analysis of these 
projects would significantly alter impacts, require 
considerable text change, and not add to the quality of 
the document. Site-specific assessments of the various 
transmission lines will be made at the time the centerline 
surveys are submitted to the BLM for right-of-way 
consideration. 

1-C. The text has been revised. 

1-D. & -E. Refer to the response to comment B. 

1-F. The text has been revised. 

1-G, -li, & -I. Refer to the response to comment R. 

1-J. A page-size map is included in the map packet to show the 
Gasco pipeline. 

1-K, -L, & -M. liefer to the response to comment B. 

1-N. The acreage disturbed by power lines in 1977 is for 



R 



co 



iiesponses to Comments from Plains Electric 
Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Inc., Continued 

coal-related construction and is based on information 
submitted to BLM by Western Coal Company for their San 
Juan Mine Project. 

1-0. Refer to the response to comment B. The 5 acre-feet per 
year required by the FCL will be used for construction and 
tosatlsfy increased demand for domestic water supply. 

1-P & -Q. Refer to the response to comment B. 

1-R. The text has been revised. 

1-S. A comparison between the figure for sediment discharge 
from the FCL (1,070 tons per year) and figures for the 
undeveloped situation is found In the Water Resources 
section of Chapter VII of the FCL analysis. Chapter VIII 
(FCL) describes alternatives, and the figures presented 
therein would therefore not agree with those for the 
proposed action itself. The descriptions of the various 
alternatives In Chapter VIII of the Regional Analysis show 
the differences in regional development that would cause 
varying sediment loads. Figures presented in Chapter VIII 
of the FCL for sediment discharge refer to the partial 
action alternative (involving only Stage I of the line), 
not to the entire FCL line as presented in the proposed 
action. 



Responses to Comments from Plains Electric 
Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Inc., Continued 

1-U. The designations "short term" and "long term" in Chapter 

VI do not refer to any particular timespans. Rather, 
short term refers to the Immediate uses of the area's 
resources a3 a result of the proposed actions, and long 
term to the remaining productivity of these resources once 
the short-term uses have occurred. 

1-V 4 -W. Refer to the response to comment B. 

1-X. The figures presented in Table VIII-12 refer to the 
Partial Action Alternative, which includes only partial 
construction of the FCL; thus, these figures are lower 
than that presented for the Proposed Action (1,070 ton3 
per year), which includes full construction of the FCL, as 
well as that of the New Mexico Generating Station and 
Western Coal Co.' 3 mine at Bisti. 

l-5(, -1, & -AA. Refer to the response to comment B. 

1-BB & -CC. The text has been revised. 

1-DD. Refer to the response to comment B. 



1-T. Refer to the response to comment B. 






JERRV APODACA 



MC* FRANKLIN 



STATE OF NEW MEXICO 

ENERGY AMD MINERALS DEPARTMENT 

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY 



PUV DM.; I bi.* *> 7 /C. 



X 

I 
M 



November 17, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 

District Manager 

Bureau of Land Management 

3550 Pan American Freeway, N.E. 

P.O. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Re: Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal ES 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

The statement is very comprehensive and, in general, we feel that the 
information on existing and future impacts has been presented in a 
thorough manner. However, these specific comments are offered for your 
attention: 



Chapter VIII Alternatives To The Proposed Action 

Two regional alternatives were discussed but it is felt that the 
BLM must analyze thoroughly a number of issues in order to consider 
adequately the "No-Action Alternative." The question must be asked: 
32-A is tllere a need t0 more adequately address the aggregate quantitative 
need for coal leasing? This question is one of the central issues in 
the Federal Coal Leasing Program. As the Court demonstrated in the 
NRDC v. Hughes the "No-Action" Alternative would mean that federal 
leasing would not occur except in situations where a special need is 
clearly demonstrated. This need should be addressed. 



Page 11-101 Water Supply Systems and Wastewater Treatment 

The statement is made "In areas presently served by water supply systems, 
supplies are usually sufficient to satisfy present consumption;" this 
statement should be modified to include reference to the water qual itj/ 
and wat er transm ission problems that exist in many of the communities 
within the ES region. This additional information is included in the 
same source quoted in Table 11-30 (Managing the Boom in Northwest New 
Mexico) . 



02-C 



02-B 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
Page Two 
November 17, 1978 



Without this additional reference to the quality and transmission 
problem, the reader is left with the impression that water systems 
are adequate in the ES region when just the opposite is true. Although 
supply may not be a problem, quality and transmission are problems 
which may limit growth in the area. 

Page IV-50 Governmental Authorities 

The statement is made that "Estimates of the necessary increases in 
spending by counties, municipalities, school and special districts 
to accommodate growth in northwestern New Mexico and elsewhere have 
approximated $7.2 million per thousand new residents for the 13 year 
period, 1977-1990." It would be helpful to the reader if the author 
explained what infrastructure capital costs this figure included, 
i.e. water, sewer, health, education, transportation, etc. 

Also, at the end of this section on page IV-53, the statement is made 
that "In 1980, increased revenues of $1.1 million would compare to 
increased costs of $17.1 million. Communities in northwestern New 
Mexico would be confronted with serious financial difficulties and 
2" D would be forced to borrow the needed funds commercially to the extent 
bonding limits would allow, or to seek special federal and state 
assistance." This section should also discuss the relative availabil ity 
of federal or state assistance for special impact programs. 

Also, some mention should be made of the present or proposed private 
sector plans which will mitigate these socioeconomic impacts. In the 
02-E past, industry has made direct contributions to community facilities in 
the area of health clinics, recreation facilities, roads and social 
service programs. 

Page IV-58 Social and Cultural Characteristics 

This section presents a summary of the subjectives, non-quantitative 
social impacts of energy development within the ES region After 
describing the various forms of social and economic tensions that 
can be expected due to the proposed developments within the region 
the author offers the opinion that "When viewed in the context of the 
impacts from the overall development expected in the region, the impacts 
due to the proposed actions would be slight, usually less than 5.5 
percent of total . " 



02-F 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
Page Three 
November 17, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
Page Four 
November 17, 1978 






02-G 



02-H 



02-1 



It is surprising that the author quantifies these subjective impacts 
without offering the reader any methodology for doing so. 

It is even more surprising that the proposed actions covered by the 

ES would have so little overall impact when prior sections have catalogued 

the following impacts due to the proposed actions. 

1. An increase of 6,350 people. 

2. An increase of 1,530 school children requiring an additional 
77 teachers and 28 support staff members. 

3. All areas would require increases in all categories of health 
care delivery systems. 

4. Most of the now generally inadequate municipal water and 
wastewater systems would either exceed or reach the limit 
of the capacities by 1985. 

Finally, there needs to be some estimate of the timing involved in 
getting specific systems on line to meet the additional coal growth. 
For example, after determining the water system capacity in Gallup, 
when will a new well be needed to service the coal-related population? 

After these matters have been resolved, I think the ES will serve as 
a useful guide in planning for these coal-related imnacts. 

Page 1-10 New Mexico Generating Station 

Water to be used for cooling at the generating station would be supplied 
from ground water pumped out of existing and planned uranium mines in 
the Crownpoint vicinity. 

Comment: Hiss, 1977; New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 
"San Juan Basin III, Supplemental Papers" discusses this idea of 
uranium mine-water utilization and should be referenced. 

Page 11-18 Coal Quality 

The rank of the coals varies from medium- to high-volatile sub- 
bituminous to medium- to high-volatile bituminous. 

Comment: Sub-bituminous coals are not sub-divided on the basis of 
volatile content in most classifications. 



02-J 



02-K 



02-L 



Page 11-34 Existing Emissions 

Emissions of particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydro- 
carbons, and carbon monoxide from major point sources and from area 
sources were obtained from the 1972 National Emission Data System 
(NEDS) data tape from New Mexico. 

Comment: Is there nothing later than 1972 "tapes?" Since then a 

(1) coal fired generating plant, (2) another strip coal mine, (3) 

an irrigation project, and (4) a petroleum refinery have begun operations 

in the region. 

Page 11-63 Lakes 

A statement as to whether or not any na tural lakes exist in the area 
- in addition to the reservoirs mentioned - could be included. 

Page 1V-3 Mineral Resources 

Conflicts may occur between development of coal and development of 
oil and gas, and to a lesser extent, uranium. Conflicts with oil 
and gas rarely if ever would be in the occurrence of resources at 
the same horizon; they would be due to the superimposed occurrence of 
coal near the surface, and oil and gas at depth. 

Comment: This statement is true for strip mining operations. Deeper 
coal beds can be gassy and deep mining could result in considerable 
amounts of methane being bented and released to the ambient air. The 
U.S. Bureau of Mines, however, has been working on pre-mining methane 
drainage techniques that mitigate environmental effects as well as 
recover a valuable resource - natural gas. 

In Packet 

Map of Vegetational Distribution 

(1) What is the primary vegetation in the areas designated as 
waste? It means something other than Barren because there 
is a separate classification for that. 




U— 



NICK FRANKLIN 
Secretary 



NF/elj 



X 



at 



Responses to Comments from 
the Energy and Minerals Department, State of New Mexico 

2-A. The Department of the Interior has been enjoined from 
directly or indirectly implementing a new coal leasing 
program in the case Natural Resources Defense Council, 
Inc., et al. v. Royston C. Hughes et al ■ The District 
Court for the District of Columbia ruled that a new coal 
programmatic ES must be prepared. The ongoing regional 
ES's, .which were being prepared at the time of the 
Injunction, were rescoped to assess on a site-specific 
basis only mining and reclamation plans proposed on 
already existing leases and associated facilities such as 
the rights-of-way proposed In this ES. Site-specific 
analyses of proposed leases were withdrawn from 
consideration in the regional ES's. 

The level of future Federal coal leasing and coal 
development in the West is part of the Department's 
current review of the coal management program that is 
occurring at the same time as the preparation of the new 
coal programmatic ES. The preferred policy alternative, 
as discussed in the draft programmatic (INT-DES-78-50) 
which was released In mid-December 1978, Is based on 
national coal production goals provided by the Department 
of Energy and adjusted by the Department of the Interior 
to regional areas. These adjusted goals will consider 
production information contained in this regional ES as 
part of the analysis to determine whether and how .nuch 



Hesponses to Comments from 
the Energy and Minerals Department, State of New Mexico, Continued 

additional leasing might be needed within this region. 
Other factors, Including the type of coal, environmental 
and socioeconomic factors, and ancillary development will 
also be considered. The production goals developed will 
be further refined by input and views received from the 
State and local government, industry and other interested 
public. 

2-B. Water quality Is addressed in this paragraph by the 
statement that, "Ground water often ha3 a large quantity 
of minerals and salts, and withdrawals must be processed." 
Water transmission problems have been addressed by 
revising the Water-Supply Systems and Wastewater Treatment 
Sections of Chapter II. 

2-C. These estimates include spending for items such as: 
water, sewage, wastewater and storm drainage, solid waste, 
health and social services, transportation, fire 
protection, public safety, recreation, education, and 
other community needs. 

2-D 4 -E. Socioeconomic impacts in northwestern New Mexico are 

expected to be significant, and it is important that all 
measures for mitigating these impacts be considered. 
There are a number of governmental agencies (Federal and 
State) involved in the area, and some of them could assist 
in mitigating adverse impacts. 



HI 



Responses to Comments from 
the Energy and Minerals Department, State of New Mexico, Continued 

The Bureau of Land Management could lease coal lands in a 
manner that would lessen the impacts by slowing the rate 
of development. The Bureau of Indian Affairs influences 
the leasing of Navajo coal and development within the 
Navajo Reservation, and could assure more orderly energy 
development. The Economic Development Administration 
provides money for planning and assists In financing 
needed community developments. The U.S. Congress recently 
enacted section 601 of the Coal Conversion Act, which 
authorizes $120 million for grants to coal- and 
uranium- impacted communities where the employment increase 
is 8i or more. To date, $20 million have been 
appropriated. The State of New Mexico also has 
legislation providing funding for coal-impacted 
communities. The amount and distribution of funds varies 
from year to year, based on needs and priorities. These 
governmental agencies will have direct influences on 
mitigation efforts and could well reduce impacts by a 
substantial amount. It is impossible to quantify the 
mitigation at this time, however. 

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the State 
Environmental Improvement Division fund studies on which 
regulations are based. They are also involved with the 
establishment and enforcement of regulations to maintain 
air and water ijunlity. This helps to "iiti^.itr (m.fi ; 



Responses to Comments from 
the Energy and Minerals Department, State of New Mexico, Continued 

that otherwise would affect quality of life in the area. 
The Public Health Service does air and water quality 
monitoring and, through the Indian Health Service, 
provides water, sanitation and medical facilities both on 
the Indian reservations and in the Gallup area. 

The private business sector has shown some willingness to 
foster community development in the area. A mobile home 
court was developed in Crownpoint. Proposals have been 
made for a new community on the Navajo Reservation and for 
a subdivision in Grants. Other plans are indefinite at 
the present time. 

2-F. It is true that Impacts to subjective elements cannot be 
quantified. The section referenced has been revised. 
With reference to the quantifiable impacts on the area, it 
is true that the development of coal will have relatively 
small impacts on socioeconomic factors when compared to 
impacts expected from the total industrial development 
already set in motion. Refer to Table VIII-8 for specific 
comparisons. 

2-G. Figures for projected needs for the ES Region due to the 
proposed actions in regard to housing, public education, 
health-care systems, police and fire protection, water 
supply and wastewater systans , and solid waste disposal 
;<re ,'.iven in Tab Ion IV-" 1 '! Uiroii-h -", uil.h estimates in 



I 

oo 



Responses to Comments from 
the Energy and Minerals Department, State of New Mexico, Continued 

most cases given for the year 1990. Some additional 
information on the water and solid-waste systems has been 
added to Chapters II and IV to provide more information on 
expansion of current facilities. 

2-H. The article by Hiss has been referenced in the text 
(Chapters I and II), as well as in the reference list. 

2-1. This information on volatility wa3 included for 
completeness . 

2-J. The text has been changed to more accurately reflect the 
dates of the data contained in the tables referred to In 
this discussion. (See Appendix Tables B-9 through B-11. 
The data in these tables were current when compiled by 
Radian (1977a) and were included only as an example of the 
magnitude and nature of the emission sources in the ES 
Region. A comparison of the total emissions presented In 
these tables with those in the NEDS summary data of July 
12, 1978, indicated no significant change.) 

2-K. The natural lakes in the area are ephemeral and were not 
mentioned in this section because they do not support fish 
populations. 

2-L. The "Waste" and "Barren" vegetative types are described in 
Chapter II (Description of the Existing Environment). 
Tlwse terms nw« used to designate the v«r,'<-tntlv»' t.vi>e:\ in 



Responses to Comments from 
the Energy and Minerals Department, State of New Mexico, Continued 

order to be consistent with BLM Manual 1112.11*. The term 
"Barren" refers to areas where the vegetative ground cover 
is nonexistent or is extremely low. The term "Waste" 
refers to areas where forage production is extremely low 
or where the physical characteristics of the landscape 
would restrict utilization of the forage that 13 produced. 
The vegetative ground cover of areas occupied by the waste 
vegetative type could, In some cases, be quite high. 






UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 
The Assistant Sacratary lor Sonne, and Tachnology 

W»»flin ton. U C 20?30 
l?02l 377-3TH 43 3 5 



November 17, 1978 



"■" October 18, 1978 




u c Dr.pnnTivirnjT or commerce 

rd.it.jnii.il CJci-.inic nnd Atniur.phcric Administratis 



Moi ti/illi-, r/J ^Llo'.i 



PHIS 7811). 1(1 - Star lake Risti Re K ional Coal 



i 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
District Manager 
Department of the Interior 
3550 Pan American Freeway, N.E. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

This is in reference to your draft environmental impact 
statement entitled "Star Lake, Bisti Regional Coal." 
The enclosed comment from the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration is forwarded for your consideration. 

Thank you fdr giving us an opportunity to provide this 
comment, which we hope will be of assistance to you. We 
would appreciate receiving four (4) copies of the final 
statement. 

Sincerely, 



03-A 



kJi 



at 




Sidney R. Galler 

Deputy Assistant Secretary 

for Environmental Affairs 

Enclosure memo from: Mr. Gordon Lill 

National Ocean Survey 



Director. Office of Ccolofty a.td 
Envir onmen tal Cons er vat ion , KOAA 



The National Geodetic Survey does not have any cor.ncnts on 
euhject draft envi ronmental impact sta I cmrn t , other than the 
possible impact on monuments of the National Geodetic Control 
Networks. 

Bench marks, trianpul at ion stations, and traverse stations 
have been established by the National Geodetic Survey in 
the vicinity of the proposed project. Construction required 
for the project could result in destruction or damage to 
Gome of these monuments . 

The National Geodetic Survey requires sufficient advance 
notification of impending disturbai.ee or destruction of 
monuments so that plans can be made for their relocation. 
The National Geodetic Survey recommends that provision be 
made in the project funding to cover costs of monument 
reloca tion. 



% 



Cordon l.ill 
Deputy Director 
National Ocean Survev 



Response to Comment from 

the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic an<1 

Atmospheric Administration 



3. Any bench marks, trlanRulatlon stations, or traverse 

stations located in areas of probable surface disturbance 

would be protected by stipulations In the right-of-way 
grant. 




I'nned Siaies Deparlmenl of (he Inlcnor 
Bl'REAU OF RECLAMATION 



I IM'l R ( (II UK Vim KJ I.HIWI 111 
t' li Hli\ I I'ii .* 
•al l i \kl c in i i \>- Mil 



152 



120.1 



NOV 2 1 1978 



Memorandum 



District Manager, Bureau of Land Management, P. 
6770, Albuquerque, NM 87107 

Regional Director 



Subject : 



Review of Draft Environmental Statement, Star Lake-Bisti 
Regional Coal (DES 78-41) 



■ 

O 



04-A 



04-B 



04-C 



We have reviewed the above draft environmental statement at the request 
of our Commissioner's Office and have the following comments for your 
consideration in preparation of the final environmental statement. 

Our major concern with this statement is the boundary of the study 
region. It appears from looking at the maps that the boundary was 
selected to avoid the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservations 
rather than to cover the region which may have interrelated resource 
developments. This is particularly apparent when you consider the 
existing or proposed mines west of the ES boundary, the proposed ConPaso 
Railroad, the Four Corners Powerplant, the Star Lake Railroad ending at 
the reservation boundary, and the contiguous ConPaso coal lease. We 
suggest that the boundary be expanded so that the final environmental 
statement is truly a regional EIS and fully considers these interre- 
lationships. 

It is also rather confusing as to which proposed actions by this draft 
environmental statement will serve as the NEPA compliance and clearance 
document. The discussion on page 1-10 is particularly unclear in this 
regard. 

The status of the San Juan Generating Station project and water service 
contract on page 1-10 appears to be incorrect. The amendatory contract 
dated December 21, 1976, does not have a contingency regarding protection 
of the aquatic system of the San Juan River. 



The status of the El Paso coal gasification should be provided since 
^'project is also under consideration by the Navajo Tribe. We also 

*\ CONSERVE 

\ AMERICA'S 

ENcnov 




the 
feci 



Save Energy and You Serve America! 



04-E 



04-F 



04-G 



04-H 



04-1 



04-J 



04-K 



the discussion on page 1-15 should include, at the minimum, a discus- 
sion of the Navajo Mine and the possible offsite commercial coal sales 
from the contiguous ConPaso least. 

The projected water use for the powerplant use seems to be high. In an 
arid region where minimization of water use is critical, the 38,300 acre- 
feet proposed for the New Mexico station should be reviewed carefully. 

The discussion on water resources in the region (beginning on page 11-34) 
does not address the issue of water availability in New Mexico. This 
issue is probably one of the more critical to industrial development and 
should be thoroughly discussed. 

The section on cultural characteristics seems to be overly simplistic 
in the treatment of the three cultures. We would suggest expanding this 
section to include the differential perceptions and values of each toward 
their chapters and communities, and toward development. 

Chapter 3 should include a discussion on the Navajo Tribe's authority and 
role in resource planning and environmental control since the Tribe rep- 
resents a major political force in the area. 

The analysis of ground water impacts on page IV-18 should be expanded to 
acknowledge the local significance of shallow aquifers since they would 
be destroyed and they now serve much of the local domestic water supply 
in the more remote areas. 

The analysis of secondary impacts should address the impacts of using 
the coal from the region in other areas of the country. 

We hope these comments are useful and appreciate the opportunity to review 
this document . 



0l/ft/i r7A*yA>WW\^v-<V'- 



Director, Office of Environmental Project Review, Office of the 

Secretary, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240 
Commissioner, Attention Code 150 



05-A 



X 



THE NEW MEXICO NATURAL HISTORY INSTITUTE 

A Nonprofit Corporation 

Box 388, St Johns Colloga 
Sanla Fa. Now Mexico 67501 



26 November 1978 

L. Paul Applegate, District Manager 

Bureau of Land Management 

P.O. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

Thank you for opportunity to comment on the Star Lake-Bisti Regional 
Coal Draft Environmental Statement. Congratulations on the impressive 
document, which seems well balanced. (But you seem to omit a most 
useful source: Anderson et al., 1977, Socio-Economic Impacts of Coal 
Mining on Communities in Northwestern New Mexico, N.M. Agr. Expt. Stn. 
Bui. 6S2. A land-ownership map at the same scale as others, and less 
opaque nap paper for easier collation of data would be useful.} 



We kn 

geolo 

tion 

ated 

left 

lecto 

restr 

these 

plain 

Prese 

to be 

syste 

more 

maim 

inclu 

areas 

grant 

tecti 

muni t 

ecosy 

large 

speci 

Burea 

urge 

criti 

sageb 

types 

scale 

snail 

tect 

erosi 



ow of only three major e 
gical features in-San Ju 
in Chaco Canyon National 
fossil collections (whic 
in place are here lost t 
rs) , and (J) the Bureau* 
ictions on development, 
fall far short of what 
s are less than efforts 



fforts to protect natural biological and 
an and McKinley counties: (1) prese rva- 

Monument, (2) scientific but uncoordin- 
h do promote preservation since fossils 
o weathering and to non-scientific col- 
s new roadless-area inventory with its 

Considering the values to be protected 
is needed and except for the eastern 
In other regions of New Mexico. 



rvation cannot be undertaken after development: there is likely 
nothing left to protect. To preserve a viable* sample of an eco- 
m generally requires at least several thousand acres--probably 
than 20,000--if there is to be any hope of the ecosystem's re- 
ng in or returning to something akin to its natural state, which 
des providing habitat for Its larger mammals. If such natural 

are to be preserved it is necessary to identify them early, before 
ing rights-of-way that might destroy the last possibility of pro- 
ng (for instance) big sagebrush or ricegrass-galleta-dropseed com- 
ies. And they should be preserved: to protect examples of intact 
stems with their myriads of organisms and functional relationships, 
ly unknown, is even more important than protection of an identified 
es, however endangered. In northwestern New Mexico only the 
u, we think, can provide this protection. We therefore strongly 
that you plan natural areas (or "wilderness areas" or "areas of 
cal environmental concern") that will preserve large samples of 
rush, pinyon-junlper, and the several grassland and brushland 
- before you grant any further rights-of-way or leases for large- 
development. Also we think that natural areas (which could be 
or, if separate from the foregoing) should be established to pro- 
samples of any special geologic and biological values, such as 
onal formations in the fiiiti Badlands. 



- 2 - 

projects. What would be lost there? Are similar biological commun- 
ities in as good condition available for protection elsewhere? 

Tne unique fossils of the area pose a different and pressing problem, 
which might be made worse rather than helped by formal designation of 
natural areas. (If there are situations where fossils iri situ can be 
protected then this should be given high priority.) The requirement 
OS-C expressed on p. SLH-IV-2 (Paleontology, ll)--to survey fossils before 
const ruction--seems especially important but is weakly stated. The 
public has clear right to these scientific values, which must there- 
fore be added to the cost of any project that would destroy them. We 
recommend that major investments in paleontological research be re- 
quired of would-be developers before construction begins in fossil- 
rich strata. It is too chancy to trust that the bulldozers will stop 
when they turn up important fossils; ample time and money must be 
allowed before heavy equipment is on the scene. 

The foregoing remarks have assumed that development will occur. We 
hope that, in this instance, it does not. It seems far better to 
strip our coal elsewhere, in areas that do not require major upheav- 
als in the lives of Native Americans, in areas without unique fossils 
and prehistoric sites, and in areas with enough moisture to permit 
easy revegetat ion. Then we can see, in later years, whether the 
Star Lake-Bisti coal is really needed. 




Roger S. Peterson 
Vice-President 



3-D 



For these goals the Draft Statement's main failure is its lack of de- 
scription of the roadless areas that would be destroyed by proposed 



X 

I 

to 

is5 



Kesponses to Comments from 
the Bureau of Reclamation 

4-A. The boundary of the ES Region reflects the areas covered 
by the BLM's land use planning system. As stated in the 
text, environmental review of Indian and Federal coal 
development is conducted separately to avoid conflicts in 
the Secretary's trust responsibilities. Therefore, the 
Navajo and Jioarllla Apache Indian Reservations are not 
included within the boundaries of the ES Region. 

To obtain a truly regional analysis, DOI is considering 
the possibilities of preparing an ES which would encompass 
the entire San Juan Basin. 

i»-B. As stated in Chapter I, the two proposed actions described 
in this ES involve granting the rights-of-way for 
construction and operation of a railroad and a 
high-voltage transmission line to serve the coal mining 
that may occur in the region. The information presented 
under "Regional Development Summary," Chapter I, portrays 
the levels of coal development which could occur, 
depending on whether or not the two proposed actions were 
implemented. 

1-C. The information in question has been replaced in the text. 

1-D. This information has been added to the text. 

H-E. A discussion of the Navajo Mine has been added to this 
section. However, off site commercial markets for coal 



Responses to Comments from 
the Bureau of Reclamation, Continued 

from the Con Paso lease cannot be predicted at this time. 

t-F. The 33,800 acre-feet proposed for the Hew Mexico 
Generating Station is the figure provided by Public 
Service Company of New Mexico. It will be further 

reviewed in the environmental analysis that will be 
prepared when the company submits a formal lease 
application. 

H-G. The opening two paragraphs of the Water Resources section 
in Chapter II discuss the shortage of water in 
northwestern New Mexico, and other sources of information 
are given in the next paragraph. The second and third 
paragraphs discuss the legal constraints on developing 
additional water supplies. Surface water supplies are 
fully appropriated, so are not available. Availability of 
ground water supplies will be better known when the model 
being developed by the USGS, Albuquerque, N.M. , is 
completed. 

1-H. The Social and Cultural Characteristics section of Chapter 
II has been expanded. 

14-1. Chapter III has been revised to include information on BIA 
regulations and Tribal authority. 

i|-J. Data available from the USGS office in Albuquerque 
indicate that the shallow aquifers (Frultland Formation 



X 

I 

Co 



Responses to Comments from 
the Bureau of Reclamation, Continued 

indicate that the shallow aquifers (Frultland Formation 
and Klrtland Shale) are not developed In the vicinity of 
the proposed coal mines, nor are they utilized very much 
elsewhere In the region. Most of the stock and domestic 
wells obtain water from the Cliff House Sandstone or 
Menefee Formation, which will not be affected by the 
mining. 

M-K. Markets for coal mined in the San Juan Dasln of Mew Mexico 
have not yet been determined. 



Responses to Comments from 
the New Mexico Natural History Institute 

^-A. The document mentioned has been reviewed, but comparable 
material was found in other sources. 

5-B. The ES has been revised to reflect the current status and 
requirements concerning protection of these wilderness 
inventory units under the ongoing wilderness review 
program. 

These areas must be identified only on the basis of the 
roadless and wilderness characteristics that are cited in 
Section 2(c) of the Wilderness Act or 19M. Biological 
conmunltles would be addressed as supplemental values that 
may, if present, enhance an area's wilderness quality. 
Wilderness designation will not be used as a substitute 
for other management categories, such as outstanding and 
research natural areas. 

b-C. The text has been revised. 



THE UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING 



DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY 



LARAMIE. WYOMING 82071 

PH 107 7«B 3500 



3219 Sierra Drive N. E. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 
87110 



October 31 , I 978 



I 



November 26, 1978 



Mr. Paul Applegate 
District Director 
Bureau of Land Management 
3550 Pan American Freeway N. E. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

Attached Is a letter from Dr. Jason Llllegraven of the University of Wyoming 
commenting on the Star Lake-Bistl Regional Coal Environmental Statement. 

I would appreciate it if Dr. LUlegraven's letter could be Included 1n the 
official comments solicited by the Bureau for the Environmental Statement. 



Yours trulyy 



06-A 



KrZs J? V 

Rosamary Spr, 



RS:ss 
Attachment 



■j/ger *s 



Ms. Rosemary Springer, Coordinator 
New Mexico Paleon to logical Task Force 
1117 Western Bank Building 
505 Marquette Avenue, N.W. 
Albuquerque, NM 87101 

Dear Ms. Springer: 

I very much appreciate receipt of the "Draft Environmental Statement 
Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal." I have not had opportunity yet to 
review it in its entirety, and perhaps will send along additional 
comments later. I did, however, notice that the listing of Cretaceous 
mammals from the Fruitland and Kirtland formations is somewhat dated 
and does not fully express the known diversity of species actually 
recovered. I have appended lists with full references to the original 
literature sources. Although not yet available generally, the Late 
Cretaceous mammals of New Mexico are put into scientific perspective 
in the following reference (to be out in the Spring of 1979): 

Clemens, W. A., Lillegraven, J. A., Lindsay, E. H., and Simpson, 
G. G., in press , Where, when, and what - a survey of known 
Mesozoic mammal distribution, j_n Li 1 legraven , J. A., Kielan- 
Jaworowska, Z. , and Clemens, W. A., eds., Mesozoic mammals: 
the first two-thirds of mammalian history: Berkeley, Univ. 
California Press, p. 000-000. 

The Cretaceous mammalian faunas of New Mexico are potentially of great 
scientific importance. They represent some of the most southerly known 
occurrences of North American Cretaceous mammalian life and, although 
presently poorly known, indicate a high diversity of species (some 
previously undescribed) and adaptive types. 

Vertebrate paleontologists trained to spot the remains of these tiny 
animals should be allowed full access to freshly-exposed rock during 
any mining operations in the area. 




I 



Oc--B 



Other scientist* will. I a*, sure, speak to the importance of the lower 
Tertiary vertebrate fossils of the region. 

I hope that the enclosed information will be useful to you in the 
correlation of the final report. 

Sincerely yours, 

* **l4 <~.l C A. >vii.t'(>V)('c:i 

Jason A. Li I legraven 
Associate Professor of Geology 

JAtVmkn 
Enc losures 



Attachment 10 letter of Ji October , 1378 to Ms. Rosemary Springer 

paTo, th^rn '71 th£ r^" Part ° f the frui "«"<i formation and the .ower 
part of the K.rtland Formation. Roughly 1 5 mammal-producing localities are 
k own east of the site of the burned 8lsti Trying Post. The best local f Us 



Order Mul t i tuberculata 
Neoplagiaulac idae 

Hesodma sp . 
TNeop lagiaulacldae 

Clmexomys . cf. £. judithae 
Pt I lodont idae 

cf . Klmbetohia campl 
CI mo lodont idae 

Cimolodon sp. 
Eucosmodont idae 

new genus and species 

Order Marsupial ia 
Di del phi dae 

Alpha don cf. marshi 
Al phadon ? , 
Pediomy i dae 

Pediomys cf . cookl 



Infraclass Eutheria 

Superfamily Lept i cto i dea , new family 

Gypson i c tops , new species 
Pa laeoryc t i dae 

cf. C imolestes sp. 
eutherian of uncertain ordinal affinities 

Armstrong-Ziegler (1978) reported samples of four other local faunas In the 
Fruitland Formation. The collecting localities are some 30 miles southwest 
of Farmington. Following Is a revised faunal list of mammals found at 
three of these localities (A, B, and C of Arms t rong-2 iegler ) : 



Order Hul t i tubercul ata 
Neoplag iau lac idae 

Me sodma ? sp . 

new genus7 and new species? 
Cimo lodont i dae 

C i mo lodon sp . 
Eucosmodont idae 

new genus and species 
Family incertae sedis 

Essono don 7 s p . 



new species 



Order Marsupial ia 
Oi del phi dae 

A I phadon cf. marshi 
cf- Peradectes sp. 



References: 

Clemens, W. A., I973, The roles of fossil »n,hr a i« 1 ■ . 

stsrn rrstr s&Ks* ~~-'» ~ 

Hesponses to Comments rrom 
Dr. Jason Llllegraven, University of Wyoming 

6-A. This document was not available for reference at the time 
or preparation or the E5. 

6-B. The species listing of mammals In the paleontology section 
or the Appendix has been revised, and the two sources 
added to the rererence list. 



u 



"1 

J 

November 28, 1978 



OS 



07-A 



07-B 



07-C 



07-D 



07-E 



07-F 



Mr. L. Paul Applegste 

District Manager 

Eureau of Land Management 

P. 0. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

RE: Comments on the Star Lake - Bisti Draft 
Regional Environmental Impact Statement 

Dear Mi . Applegate: 

The following are Western Coal Co.'s comments on the Star Lake - 
Bisti Draft Regional Environmental Impact Statement: 

1. In the discussion of wilderness in Chapter II, pages 
7G-79, the elimination of Roadless Area 57 should be 
reflected. This change will entail a revision of the 
Roadless Area acreages on pages 11-78 and 79, and a 
revision of Map G. 

2. Page IV-t<2. In the second line of the right-hand column, 
"1980" should read "I985." 

3. Page IV-50. In the fifth line of the left-hand column, 
delete the sentence reading "construction takes 12-2l ( 
months . " 

>4. Pare IV-50. In the left-hand column, next-to-last line, 
change the word "is" to "are." 

5. Page V-l. Under the Section on Socio-economic conditions, 
in the first and third lines of this Section, "shortfalls" 
should be one word, not two words as shown. 

6. Page VI-1. The second sentence of the second paragraph 
should be revised, adding the following phrase: "... 
and federal permitting, regulatory, and coal-leasing 
policies." This addition would make this sentence a 
more accurate reflection of present facts of life in the 
coal industry. The "market" no longer plays the role it 
once did before the coal industry became so stringently 
regulated. Oppressive government regulation cen now 
just as easily cause a "b.-.st" as any of the traditional 
m&rketplbue supply and dvnaii.1 l'm-1 <rr, 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 



November 28, I976 



07-G 



07-H 



7. Page VI-1. In the third line of the fourth paragraph, 
the word "merely" should be changed to read "slightly." 
As pointed out in Chapter IV of the Draft ES, impacts 
would be less than 5.5 percent in all areas of the 
socio-economic environment which were assessed, and much 
less than that in most areas. 

8. Western Coal Co.'s leases in the Bisti area are incorrectly 
shown on Map A. The attached Map accurately reflects the 
boundaries of Western's leases. 



07-1 



both the Regional Analysis and the Fruitland Coal Load Analysis 
ir.istakenly imply that coal developement in the ES Region is dependent 
upon the construction of the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line. This 
is not the case. Mine developement and actual mining can take place 
using other sources of energy such as portable generators. For example, 
such portable units currently provide power needs at the Amcoal Mine east 
of Gallup, New Mexico. 

Should you have questions or require additional information, pleare do not 
hesitate to give me a call. 



Sincerely, 



George G. By erg- 
Environmental and 
Regulatory Coordinator 



GGE/ds 



I.IMJ.1_1|,JMJ|,1IJJ,II..II. 



X 
I 






-,r~ ,-s- 






M 



_> '1 



T24N 



T23 N 



717 






-^r- ^W^ 










^0 vU c ">- '■■., 



1 1^ k ' 







" ; :-GT 






^rc. 



£>'' 









'■*ZJ4&-^J:X 



J, V^^« 



> 



^£- 



v^ 



:: ^ : '.V 






•v 



^ , 



\f 



/■) 



A; 



He,' <^< 



& 



-«' 



r^ S.^ 



r 



T J 



'#*' 



r,'/ 



- " 



x 



1 - 



\ -■ l V . C V.v 



LEGEND 



LEASE AREAS 



SCALE IN MILES 



1/4 1/2 



WESTERN COAL CO. 

BIST I PROJECT 

LEASE AREAS 



DWG. NO- 



FIGURE 1-3 



X 

I 

to 

00 




responses to Comments from Western Coal Co. 

7-A. The text has been revised to reflect current status and 
acreage of wilderness Inventory units undergoing review. 

7-B through -G. The suggested changes have been made. 

7-M. It is acknowledged that the leases are incorrectly shown 
on Map A. However, it has been determined that thi3 
information does not significantly alter the environmental 
impacts assessed In this ES. 

7-1 . The wording in the £S has been changed from "dependent on" 
to "facilitated by." 



X 

I 

to 



8 



Pusl Olfi^e Box 226? Ail>uq.itMque hHW Memcd 



08-A 



08-B 



08-C 



08-D 



08-E 



November 20, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
District Manager 
Bureau of Land Management 
Post Office Box 6770 
Albuquerque, NM 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 



Subject: 



Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal Draft 
Environmental Statement (ES) 



Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) thanks the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) for this opportunity to comment on the subject document. 
PNM's comments focus on corrections, additions or deletions to the draft 
ES. Much of the original data incorporated in the draft ES was provided 
to the BLM in 1976. For this reason, PNM believes that the following 
current information should be incorporated into the final ES. We believe 
these comments will make the final ES a more comprehensive document 
which includes the most recent available data. For each comment, the 
appropriate page number is listed. 

PNM's first group of comments addresses the Regional Analysis, or Volume I. 

Page 1-5 Under the paragraph for the Fruitland Coal Load Transmission 
Line, no reference is made to the proposed 115 kV transmission line 
which PNM proposes to build from the Western Coal Station to the pro- 
posed Bisti Mine point of service and to the New Mexico Station Site. 

Page 1-6 This page shows a map of the proposed corridor for the Fruit- 
land Coal Load Transmission Line. The map does not show the proposed 
115 kV transmission line. 

Page 1-10 Regarding New Mexico Generating Station, the draft ES states, 
"The Rural Electrification Agency has been proposed as the lead agency 
for the ES that is to be prepared". This statement is no longer accurate 
and should be deleted. Lead agency assignment is still pending. Also, 
in this same paragraph the first unit of New Mexico Station is no longer 
planned for an in-service date of 1983, but rather as early as 1985. 

Page I-U Table 1-2 This table does not include the proposed 115 kV 
line to the Western Coal Bisti Mine point of service or to the proposed 
New Mexico Station site. 

Page 1-21, Table 1-7 Addresses a proposed 500 kV transmission line 
which terminates at the proposed Rio Puerco Station. This proposed 
transmission line no longer terminates at Rio Puerco Station, but rather 
at a new proposed Station 22 miles south of the Rio Puerco Station. 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 



November 20, 197o 



PNM's remaining comments address Volume II, or the site specific portion 
of the Regional Coal ES. 

In the description of the proposal for the Fruitland Coal Load Trans- 
mission Line, the second paragraph of that description states that PNM 
has proposed the construction of a 230 kV transmission system between 
08-F Star Lake and Bisti in the San Juan Basin. This statement or sentence 

should more accurately read: "PNM, in participation with Plains Generating 
and Transmission Electric Cooperative Incorporated, has proposed the 
construction of a 230 kV transmission system between Star Lake and Bisti 
in the San Juan Basin". 

Page F 1-1 About midway in the third paragraph the statement reads, 
08-G " the £irst slx lnlles °f 230 kV line between the switching staiirvn and 

the Bisti Mine substation", should read "the first six miles of 230 kV 

line between the Bisti switching station and the Western Coal substation". 

On the same page, under Transmission Design Features, the clearance 
8-H between the conductors and the ground at final sag would be no less than 

twenty-nine feet rather than thirty-one feet as stated. 

Page F 1-3, Tables F 1-1 and F 1-2 We suggest a replacement of these 



08-1 



tables with the following tables. These tables, in our opinion, list 
more accurate acreages disturbed on a temporary and. permanent basis from 
the proposed transmission line. 

Table F 1-1 

Expected Mining Loads and Initial Dates Service is Required 
(Mid-Level of Production) 



Mine 




Megawatts 


Year 


Alamito 

Bisti 

Chaco-Star 


Lake 


18 
30 
17 


Unknown 
1980 
1980 



Note: PNM anticipated other loads if 
other potential mines are developed. 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 



-3- 



November 20, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 



-4- 



November 20, 1978 



X 

I 

CM 

© 



08-J 



08-K 



08-1 



Table F 1-2 

Acres Disturbed by Construction 

TEMPORARY 



















Component 




Disturbed 
Stage I Stage 


Acres 
II 


Stage III 


Access road 

Towers and pulling sites 

TOTAL 




27 
19 
46 




91 

84 
175 






91 
84 

175 






PERMANENT 












Component Staj 


e 1 


Disturbed 
Stage 


Acres 
11 




Stage 


III 


Tower sites 
Stations 20 
TOTAL 20 


02 
43 
45 


0.05 

27.15 
27.20 










0~ 


05 

~05 


Page F 1-4 First paragraph, second column. 


00 


feet by 


100 


feet shoul 



read 100 feet by 125 feet for assembly and setting ... On that same 
page under stations, first paragraph, third sentence should read, "a 
50 MVA substation would be needed on the FCL at the tap point to Western 
Coal's Bisti Coal Mine and a 30 MVA substation would be needed for 
limited start-up and for construction power at the New Mexico Generating 
Station" . 

Page F III-l Under soils we suggest that the number of acres and 



percentages of right-of-way which will be destroyed or disturbed by 
construction activities be recalculated. Our figures are considerably 
different than those stated in the draft ES. For example, in Table F 
I1I-3 total acres disturbed, by our calculations, are 444 rather than 
307. In view of the acreage changes PNM has recommended for review in 
Table F 1-2, many changes similar to the one above may be required. PNM 
suggests that the BLM review our acreage figures and previous acreage 
figures throughout the document. 



P age F I I I- 5 The last paragraph states "although the bald eagle is an 
uncommon migrant, increased human activity would hinder any habitat and 
feeding utilization of the area. Accidential electrocution conceivably 



08-M 



08-N 



08-O 



could occur if these birds migrate through the area". It is PNM's 
experience and the experience of the utility industry in general that 
birds of prey are not electrocuted on high voltage transmission structures 
but rather on some designs of smaller, lower voltage distribution struc- 
tures. We feel that an accidential electrocution of any bird is extremely 
unlikely on the proposed transmission line. 

Also, on Page F III-5 under wildlife, speaking of endangered and threat- 
ened species, the statement infers that prairie dog colonies would be 
destroyed. PNM believes that damage to these colonies can be avoided. 

Under noise the last sentence should read, "a 115 kV or 



08-P 



08-Q 



Page F 


III-6 


230 kV 


line" 


Page F 


III-8 



Under cultural resources there is a sentence which reads, 
"Direct impacts on archeological and historical resources involving site 
destruction could result from construction of the line and access roads". 

PNM believes that most archeological and historical resources can be 
avoided without any disturbance by spanning sites, spotting tower loca- 
tions away from known sites, and routing access roads around sites . 
Those sites which cannot be avoided will be mitigated as required by the 
Land Management Agency. 

In most instances, there will be minimal direct impacts, if any, to arch- 
eological and historical resources due to construction of the trans- 
mission line and its associated access roads . 

Page F III-8 Under socioeconomics the second paragraph states that 



construction of the FCL would lead to the development of at least three 
coal mines and a generating station". PNM believes this statement is in 
error. We believe that these mines are liable to develop whether or not 
the FCL is constructed. Other power sources (transmission or on site 
generation) could feasibly be arranged, eliminating the need for FCL. 
The proposed New Mexico Station is entirely unrelated to the need for 
the proposed FCL. The power carried by the FCL will come from a tap on 
an existing transmission line. 

Page F I I 1-8 Under cultural resources the draft ES states that 136 to 
211 sites would be destroyed by development dependent on the FCL. PNM 
believes this in an unduly large number of sites to be destroyed by 
construction of a transmission line and believes that what the BLM 
addressed in this paragraph is overall development, which may or may not 
be dependent upon the FCL. Development other than the FCL may destroy 
archeological sites. It is impossible f.»r PNM to determine. However, 
we believe It is not proper to st.Ut c!m( thtsse sites will -be destroyed 
by construction of the FCL, which is thx situ specific item being addressed 
in this section. 



L. fjul ApulegaLe 



-<>- 



November 20, ly?ti 



Mr. L. Paul Apple-gate 



-6- 



Noveinber 20, \*§?t 



08-ft 



I'.i.^l- F I V- -' Under paleontology comment n umber four bLaUs, "lo reduce 
tlit- iiugji ivc impact;, due to lncrtdDcd access ibil 1 1 y , the routes of major 
access would be pubic*! (iiul t lclenc ly removed from areas of exposure) to 
discourage unauthorized removal of ioasil Biaterials". i'NM bt-riou&ly 
questions the udviuabl lity of this posting. We believe it may draw In- 
creased attention lo areas rich in paleontologicai resources. 



I- ! 



Faee F V-l Under paleontology , a statement lb made that "il Is estimated 
that two to five fossil localities would be destroyed during const rue t Ion 
of the FCL". PNM agrees with this estimation, but we believe the fossil 
1*5 localities will be disturbed not destruyed. We believe that sensitive 

paleontologlcal areas can be avoided If discovered prior to construction. 
Given the normally large extent of paleontologlcal deposits, we concur 
that such deposits Bay be disturbed but not necessarily destroyed. 

Page F V-2 Under wildlife there Is a comment about "related develop- 
ment would alter 12,663 acres". PNM believes that this statement Infers 
that coal development Is necessarily dependent upon the FCL. Coal 
development Is not dependent upon the FCL, but rather Is enhanced by the 
FCL. Other alternative electric sources do exist. Each mining concern 
can consider various of these alternatives. Additionally, the Intent of 
this section Is to address the FCL specifically, not in a regionally 
related development context. If the FCL Is considered In a regional 
context, PNM wishes to add that we believe that the FCL Is a desirable 
power source alternative for coal mine development. The FCL will help 
preclude the construction of numerous transmission and distribution 
lines as well as (potentially) numerous on-slce generation lacllltlcs. 
PNM believes that construction of the FCL will help lead to orderly mine 
development rather than Individual power sources for each mine. 

S££ F VI- I Under irreversible and Irretrievable, the fifth paragraph 



08-T 



oa-u 



08-V 



08-W 



1 1 ■ — — ' r — ■»- ■> — — -m -h-w v | v I I ^ * a 4 L. I I Liuiu^l U|i|l 

stales, "The sediment discharge of 1,070 tons per year from the FCL and 
10,000 tons per year from the related development is compared to a 
natural discharge of 2.S to 3.0 million tons per year". I'NH believes 
this figure of 1,070 tons per year from the FCL Is high. Uc do lu.I know 
how the calculation was made and suggest that the number be reviewed, 
in the same paragraph, the next sentence slates that "water requirements 
for the FCL and related developments would be about 3j,000 to 45,000 
acre feet per year". PNM believes that these water requirements 'must be 
lor [elated development and not I lie FCL. It Is misleading to slale this 
kind of water requirements for a trallsinlssll.il line. Tin. 
tor water tor Hie FLL are dorlng I lie collsl nu L ion perluel 
primarily lor dasl suppression on the temporal y ui.css i 
believes thai It i „ nut In the Interest i.l litis volume t„ c 
compare the FCL to related development . II. a slle spe, llic 
Such as this, we question the appropriateness ul I he analys 
on potential and at this lime uncertain related issues. 



illy requirements 
and I la n 

it. I'NH also 



lit 1 1 



illy 



ily, 



2T r VI It- I 

l lie Se-LUIld 
"reeled lo 1 



A comment Is made under i he 

entente about the 111 s I 1 Hloe 
. I '.II MVA 



il 



:a.l "l he West el I 



Once again, PNM Is gratctul to have had the opportunity to make these 
comments. We hope they are considered as constructive comments, for 
that Is certainly how we Intend llielr use. Many of the corrections ale 
based on new Information that neither PNM or the bLM had at their dls,.usai 
when the original draft was written. It is our suggestion that the most 
cutrent information be used to make the final tS as accurate as possw.Lc. 



Sincerely , 




J. Eltzen 

Environmental Scientist 

HJEicrs 

cc: Mr. E. D. Klst 

Mr. J. b. Mulcuck 

Mr. R. V>. Kountree 

Mr. J. A. Smith 

Mr. W. C. Uygant 

Kesponses to Comments from 
the Public Service Company of (lew Mexico 

ti-n. The text has been revised. 

a-B. The map has been changed. 

H-C. The text has been revised. 

H-D. Table 1-2 has been revised. 

3-E. Table 1-7 has been revised. 

3-r , -G, 1 -H. The text has been revised. 

8-1. Tables FI-1 and FI-2 were developed from information 
furnished by PNM while the draft was be inn written. Use 
of the information prpvided In the comment letter would 
not significantly alter Impacts, but would require 
considerable change In the text without adding to the 
quality of the document. Further environmental assessment, 
will be necessary when PNM riles a complete application 
and a center-line survey for the transmission line. 



Responses to Comnent3 from 
the Public Service Company of New Mexico, Continued 



Hesponses to Comments from 
the Public Service Company of New Mexico, Continued 



I 

to 



8- J. The text has been revised. 

8-K. Refer to the response to comment I above. 

8-L, -M, & -N. The text has been revised. 

8-0. Refer to the Cultural Resources section of Chapter IV 
(Mitigation) for this information. 

8-P. The wording in this section has been changed. 

8-Q. Impacts analyzed in Chapter III are of two types: direct 
(caused by construction of the FCL) and indirect (caused 
by other developments which would be facilitated by the 
FCL; these Impacts would most likely occur because the 
other developments would be able to use the FCL as a 
source of power). Indirect impacts are Included In the ES 
with direct impacts so that a more comprehensive idea may 
be formed of the development and resultant impacts likely 
to occur In association with the powerllne. 

8-R. The purpose or signing access routes along the 
transmission corridor Is to provide adequate forewarning 
that collection of fossil materials Is not permitted. To 
decrease the possibility that this posting will, In fact, 
lead to more collection, the signs will be placed (1) at 
sufficient distance Trom actual localities so that exact 
exposures will not be marked, and (2) In areas without 
exposures also, so that the presence of signs will not 
necessarily indicate the presence of exposures. 



8-S. The text has been revised; however, such disturbance may 
constitute limited or local destruction of fossil 
resources. 

8-T. Refer to the responses to comment numbers Q above and 7-1. 

8-U. The methodology for sediment discharge computations is 

given In Appendix n. The 1,070 tons per year is an 
average of only 3.5 tons per acre per year. 

The water resources paragraph In Chapter F-III gives the 
breakdown of the direct and Indirect Impacts of the FCL. 
A phrase has been added to the text to show the direct 
water requirement of 5 acre-feet per year for the FCL. 

8-V. Refer to the response to comment above. 

8-W. The text has been revised. 



UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT 

Memorandum 



US FISH * WILDLIFE StRVICt 
Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103 



district Manager, BLM, Albuquerque, N.M. 

Assistant 

Regional Director (OBS) 



date: November 28, 1978 



subject: 



Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal Draft Environmental Statement 



■ 

CO 

co 



We have reviewed the subject statement and offer the following 
commen t . 

Transmission Lines, Page F-ll-8, Rule Making (Federal Register, 
09-A dated October 27, 1976, Part IV, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants) has changed southe.rn bald eagle to read bald eagle. 

The statement is well prepared and reflects adequate consideration 
for fish and wildlife resources that would be affected by the pro- 
posed action. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. If you 
have any questions, please contact Mr. Martin Suhr, FTS 'i 7 *> ~ 2 9 1 ** . 



H 



piJ^&JulLljl 



Area Manager, FWS, Phoenix, Arizona 

Field Supervisor, FWS, Ecological Services, Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Senior Staff Specialist - Ecological Services 

Senior Staff Specialist - Endangered Species 



Kesponse to Comment from 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 



9. The text has been revised. 



^^M RcoNsenve 

^|| \AMERICAS 



i..ii> *»« H- -^J fi> 



New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources 

Socorro. NM 87801 



A DIVISION Ot 
Mtt Mf.XKCl INSTITUTE 0^ MISIM, 4 IKHNOLOt.V 



10 



November 30, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
November 30, 1978 
Page 2 



jwould probably have improved the quality of the Environmental Statement. 



X 

I 



10-A 



10-ft 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 

District Manager 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management 

3550 Pan American Freeway, NE 

P.O. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, NM 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

This letter is in response to your letter 1792 requesting written 
comments on the Draft Environmental Statement Star Lake-Bisti Regional 
Coal. A number of staff members of the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and 
Mineral Resources will present their comments here in. 

Dr. Stephen C. Hook's comments are centered on the portions of the Draft 
Environmental Statement concerning paleontological resources. 

Although as a paleontologist I am glad to see that paleo resources are 
now being considered in environmental statements, I think that the 
importance of the paleontological resource has been overstated in relation 
to all other resources and that this overstatement goes beyond the scope 
of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. For example: 

(1) in Chapter VII - Irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources 
the loss of 1,150 to 1,480 fossil localities is listed ahead of and is, 
therefore, presumably more important than a) the loss of 30 lives in 

fatal accidents, and b) the 288 million tons of coal that would be 
produced and consumed by an energy dependent U.S. population, etc. 

(2) In Chapter III - Planning and environmental controls - it stated on 
page III-4 that "FLPMA mandates protection and management of scientific 
resources (i.e. paleontological) on public land." This statement is 

in error in that FLPMA mandates that the public lands (not the scientific 
resources) be managed in a manner that will protect the quality of 
scientific values (Sec. 102 (a) (8)) while at the same time recognizing 
the Nation's needs for domestic sources of minerals (Sec. 102 (a) (12) ). 
This statement also implies that paleontologic values are the only 
scientific values to be considered. 

I was dismayed to find out that even while the BLM and USGS were jointly 
developing technical guidelines to define the paleontological resource, 
provide evaluatory criteria and develop measures for protection and 
mitigation (p. 111-4), that no USGS paleontologists contributed to the 
Environmental Statement (p. IX-1) . This appears to me to be a waste 
of Federal manpower in an area where additional paleontological input 



10-C 



10-D 



10-E 



10-F 



One point that I feel should be made in the report regarding fossils is 
that whatever else they may have been, and regardless of how they are 
interpreted, they are a portion of the rock in which they are found; 
i.e., a part of the stratigraphy. On page IV-1, it is stated that 
because ". . . the amount disturbed of any formation is so small compared 
to its extent in the ES region, the impact of this disturbance would be 
low to negligible." This same theme is repeated in Chapter V - Unavoidable 
adverse impacts - on page V-3 where it is stated that "Nevertheless, 
considering the extent of the strata, a very small amount of potential 
fossil-bearing rocks would be disturbed." These two statements combined 
with the fact that 1,157 new fossil localities were discovered and sampled 
during an extensive paleontological survey of primarily high-impact areas 
indicate to me that the adverse impact to the paleo resources should be 
quite small. And, the potential for discovering new and significant 
fossil finds during mining and related activities is much greater than 
that of finding significant finds on the surface. 

Another point that needs clarification is the type of reference section 
referred to repeatedly on p. 11-12. If this refers to a reference section 
or type section of a stratigraphic unit; e.g., a formation, then I agree 
that these should be preserved or, if necessary, redesignated. If, however, 
this refers to every locality from which a new species was recovered, the 
number of areas that would have to be preserved would be absurd, especially 
considering vertebrates that may be one of a kind. 

Dave E. Tabet's comments focus on the roadless classification. 

I find it terribly suspect that all the areas inventoried as roadless are 
also classified as CLASS I (highest) in the VRM (visual resource management} 
classes. The whole VRM classification scheme appears highly arbitrary and 
subjective. I strongly hope this inventory does not weigh heavily on the 
future use and planning of the ES area. The text (p. 11-78) incorrectly 
refers readers to Map H when roadless areas inventoried are actually shown 
on Map G. Some of the areas identified as roadless areas (e.g. NM-010'18 
and NM-010-20) have high potential for coal development and have actually 
been nominated by industry as an area of interest for coal leasing. I 
can't believe that the roadless areas identified all have outstanding visual 
resource attributes and more coal than areas with less visual aesthetic 
qualities . 

I have some reservation about the objective of BLM personnel in classifying 
areas as roadless or not. It would have been helpful for them to have a 
map on which they identified all "roads" and "ways" within the ES area as 
well as major highways and railroads. This would help in understanding 
exactly what BLM does and doesn't consider a road. 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
November 30, 1978 
Page 3 



Responses to Comments from 
the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources 



x 

I 



10-G 



10-H 



10-1 



Stephen J. Frost's comments are general in nature. 

The active or permitted mines are neglected in this statement. Map A 
should show the location of the active and permitted mines. Amcoal's 
HI Mine is on a firm basis after a number of years of hard work to bring 
the mine up to compliance with the reclamation standards. The Statement 
gives the impression (page 11-18) that this mine is uncertain which 
is far from the truth. Also, what has happened to Carbon Coal's 
operations? It's alive and well as far as I know. 

Trace element analyses are not uncommon as stated on page 11-13. An 
ongoing study in cooperation with the USGS has some 100 detailed analyses 
at this time with many more to come. 

While the total resources of the Menefee Formation have not been determined, 
a great deal of work has been done, see OF Report 84, Circular 155, and 
other Bureau reports. 

My general impression is that not all the information available has been 
utilized to present a balance picture in this Statement. 

Also, many of the maps are next to useless. True you need simplicity in 

presentation, but you also need a reference or framework to work with. 

How do you locate the information with some confidence without a grid 
system? 

As you can see, our staff has some real concerns about the Draft 
Environmental Statement. If we can answer any questions regarding our 
comments, please contact us. Thank you. 

Respectfully, 



Stephen C. Hook . f;. r 
Paleontologist 



'r 



Ju 



Stephen S. Frost 
Coal Geologist 



David E. Tabet 
Geologist 

3P 



10-A. The resources as presented in Chapter VII are not listed 
in order of importance, but in order of relative magnitude 
of impact. Because the possibility exists for the 
destruction of unique fossil or archaeological sites, 
these resources were judged to have the potential to be 
more heavily impacted by the proposed action. The wording 
in Chapter III has been revised. 

10-B. USGS paleontologists reviewed the ES material numerous 
times during the process. 

10-C. It is true that regional disturbance would be small when 
viewed on the basis of the surface and subsurface extent 
of the strata. However, localized disturbance to the 
fossil resource would be severe. The sections of the text 
mentioned in the comment have been revised to reflect this 
contrast between regional and localized impacts. 

10-D. The term "reference section" is used as a 
rock-stratigraphic term for the latest Cretaceous and the 
early Tertiary formations of the San Juan Basin (i.e., the 
Fruitland, Kirtland, Ojo Alamo, and Nacimiento 
Formations). For example, portions of the Nacimiento ,and 
Ojo Alamo Formations located on the south flank of the 
Basin serve as reference sections for the 
(time-stratigraphic) Puercan and Torrejonlan land mammal 
"ages." Use of the term is not meant to imply that each 



I 



Responses to Comments from 
the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Continued 

or every type locality constitutes a reference section. 

10-E. Roadless or wilderness areas have been selected as VRM 
Class I for management purposes. The BLM was mandated by 
law (under Section 603(c) of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act) to manage potential wilderness areas "in a 
manner so as not to impair the suitability of such areas 
for preservation as wilderness ..." Therefore, the Class 
I VRM category was the one selected for these areas, as it 
allows only natural ecological changes and some limited 
management activity, thus protecting the areas in the 
interim period until the wilderness inventory is 
completed. If the inventory ehows that some areas do not 
have wilderness characteristics as defined in Sec. 2(c) of 
the Wilderness Act of 1961 , their VRM classification could 
change. 

The text reference to Map H has been changed. 

10-F. Chapter II of the text has been revised to incorporate the 
BLM's definition of a road. 

10-G. The active mines within the ES Region are shown on Map 1-4 
and mentioned in Chapter I under Coal Development. 
Amcoal's is an active mine but, under planned production, 
has only 3 years of coal left under its existing lease. 
The uncertainty lies in whether Amcoal will be granted a 



Responses to Comments from 
the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Continued 

short-term lease to mine coal in Section 8. Carbon Coal's 
operation is underway, and is shown on Map 1-4. 

10-H. J. R. Hatch of the Coal Resources Branch bf the USGS has 
been contacted (as suggested by S. J. Frost). Hatch has 
indicated that many trace element analyses from the 
Fruitland Formation are available, but not from the 
Menef ee Formation . 

10— I . Two additional reports on coal resources of the Menefee 
Formation have been included in the list of references in 
the ES. 



11 



■ 

00 

-J 



Geology Department 
University of Now Mexico 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131 
November 29, 1978 

Bureau of Land Management 
Albuquerque District Office 
P.O. Box 6770 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Dear 31 n 

I sympathise with having to produce an environmental statement which mollifies 
all special interests. It is impossible to issue an adequate environmental 
statement at this time because new developments continue to be proposed. I 
believe the statement should approach the possible development of this area 
from a systems analysis of the region. Other people commenting on this 
statement will probably suggest using a systems aporoach, so I will devote 
the rest of this commentary to one aspect of the total system in the San 
Juan Basin which Is not addressed in the draft E.S. 

The draft E.S. neglects to discuss the post-Eocene geologic history of the 
San Juan Basin. Though most of the past 40 million years is not represented 
by rocks, and though much of the time erosion is the dominant process, there 
I J.*, are several geologic features which reflect events in the basin during the 
past several million years. These features include several geomorphic sur- 
faces at different levels in the San Juan Basin, and lava flows, alluvial 
deposits and windblown deposits associated with these surfaces. The draft 
E.S. alludes to these features on pages TI-1 and II-**. The dlsousslon of the 
soils completely neglects their historical significance. The geomorphic 
features have never been studied In detail, but they are extremely important 
for deciphering the recant geologic history of the region. Sone of the 
deposits contain fossils (such as mollusks and mastodons) which should not 
be Ignored. Dr. Glenn Scott and Jacques Robertson of the U.S. Geological 
Survey (Denver) should be able to 00"iment on the extent of these deposits 
and discuss their significance. 

There are several problems to consider in evaluating the Impact of development 
on the geomorphic features. First, the features tend to be wide-spread, but 
discontinuous. Second, the stratigraphy within alluvial or windblown deposits 
tenda to be poorly exposed. Third, there is a large amount of lateral vari- 
ation in the deposits so that some deposits are more important for recons- 
tructing geologlo history and past environments than others. 

Consequently, I suggest (1) site specific surveys of surflcial deposits by 
exoerts to determine their possible significance to the history of the 
region (2) periodic monitoring of excavations through surflcial deposits 
to study their geometry and to mitigate any destruction of fossils and 
(3) developing a systematic regional framework for evaluating those deposits 
and for describing the recent geologic history of the region. Such inves- 
tigations would be in accordance with the spirit of NEPA and would be in the 
best interests of the people of the state and nation. The studies would not 
necessarily Interfere with development. Instead, it would be possible to 



take advantage of exposures created for other reasons. Moreover, studies 
of the surflcial deposits can help with minlmlllng adverse impacts of 
development. For example, sediment production on disturbed lands might 
be minimised by duplicating the surflcial conditions of erosion surfaces 
which have remained stable for millions of years. Furthermore, such 
studies would provide a long-term base line study of climatic fluctuations, 
sediment movement and ecology In the basin. 

If you have questions concerning this aspect of the draft E.S. , please 
oontact me. 



Sincerely, 



/b*& '&/.«6xJ 



David W. Love 



P.S. The site specific naps of the draft E.S. are totally inadequate. It 
is impossible to tell where the proposed lines are going to go on a adle- 
by-mile basis. 



Kesponses to Comments from David W. Love, 
Geology Department, University of New Mexico 

Dr. Scott and other geologists or the U.S. Geological 
Survey are currently mapping the more recent deposits In 
the area proposed Tor mining. It Is expected that the 
results of their work will be available by the time mining 
plans are submitted for U.S. Government action. 

Some of the mitigation measures added to Chapter IV of the 

Keglonal ES as part of the fiLM's mitigation plan for 

paleontologlcal resources sliould benefit the study of 
georoorphology and geologic history. 




X 

I 

w 

00 



United States Department of the Interior 

OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING 

Reclamation and Enforcement 

POST OFFICE BUK'i RM mo 

l»2j STOUT STREET 
DENVER. COLORADO «»2 

November 2». 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 

District Manager 

Bureau of Land Management 

U. S. Department of Interior 

Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

Enclosed are review comments pertaining to the 

Star Lake - Bisti Regional Coal DES. We hope these 

will be of value in the overall review process. 

Sincerely, 



12-A 



Donald A. Crane 
Regional Director 



Enclosure 



12-6 



Review Ci.ii.,1,1 nls, Star I :ikc - Bisli 
Regional Coal Draft Env i ror.f icnt al Statement 



Reviewer: Robert I. Starr, Environmental Scientist 

A cursory review was made of the subject bt'S with cuttt&enls as follows: 



1. Commend the approach to integrate impacts of a 114-mile railroad and 
puwer transmission line (Site-Specific Analysis) with those anticipated for coal 
and related energy development activities, (Regional Analysis). However, too 
many projects with limited data are addressed in the regional volume, to provide 
the reader with a clear concept of potential impacts for the proposed action as 
related to those cumulative impacts anticipated for other ongoing and proposed 
developments. It is suggested that the regional document be revised to either 
(1) limit the scope of the document to include only those coal developments 
viewed most critical as associated with the proposed railroad/transmission lines, 
or (2) expand the data base and discussion so that the numerous existing and 
proposed developments for this area of New Mexico are more thoroughly evaluated. 
Also, why were the projected energy-related activities not addressed beyond the 
year 1990? 

2. Although it is recognized that review and approval procedures for 
operations on Indian lands fall under different policy controls than those where 
federal coal is involved, the impacts are the same. Thus, in order to adequately 
evaluate the overall cumulative impacts likely to occur in this area of New Mexico 
as a result of coal development, inclusion of existing and anticipated mining 
operations on the Navajo Reservation would be of value. 



SPEC IFIC 

Page 1-9, Figure 1-3. Suggest elimination of the "inleri..ed . at£ 
of coal development. 



>t age 



12-C 



nder Basic Analysis Assnjnpt l ons . ' 



It is stated 
f <tippl cn,cnl al 



Page 1-22, 2nd column 
that five years will be required for reclamation of a gi^cn a 
iirigaliun is provided. This statement should be modified since the period 
necessary for successful revegctation in the subject area of New Mexico is site- 
pecific and dependent upon various factors, the primary one being adequate soil 
moisture for seedling establishment and plant development. 



12-D 



12-E 



12-F 



Point 4d Suggest adding a statement legal ding the quality of irrigation 
water necT-^saryTor successful seedling establ l slimc-nt,. Also, suggest inclusion 
of an additional point under "assumptions" to address proper range management 
practices for the protection of reclaimed areas after a satisfactory vegetative 
cover is established. 



Page 11-37, 1st col umn . A discrepancy exists in de Watering rates for 
uranium mines ~as~~ ci ted ~fn~tbis dueument (5000 gpm) versus that in tile site- 
specific text (3000 gpm), Page SLR I 1-4. 



Page 11-113, under "Water R esou rces." With population increases 
anticipated in The various New Mexico commum t i es , will adequate supplies of 
water (quantity/quality) be available 10, 20 and say 40 years in the future, 
assuming expanded coal/uranium development, expanded and new power generating 
plants, increased acreages placed under irrigation, etc.? 



X 

I 



Responses to Comments from 
the Office of Surface Mlninp, 

12-A. The cumulative Impacts analyzed In the ES were those 
resulting from the proposed actions and coal development 
associated with them, together with all other existing 
development In the region. 

The dates used were chosen by the Secretary of the 
Interior to standardize several regional coal statements 
and were based on the expected life of the resource and 
Its probable market, recognizing the difficulty In 
predicting the level of coal production, economic 
conditions, technological advances, national energy 
policy, and other factors controlling the demand for coal. 
The year 1990 was selected as the limit for reasonable 
projections under these variable conditions. 

12-B. Impacts from current development located on the 
reservation were included In the cumulative analysis. 
Assessment of future developments will have to be made by 
the appropriate agency when more site-specific data Is 
available regarding mining proposals on the reservation. 

12-C. Provisions of the Surface Mining Control and Declamation 
Act GO U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) and the New Mexico Coal 
Surfaceininlng Act require actions that would moderate m;iny 
factors that cause variability in reclamation efforts. 
Once these provisions were met, seedling establishment aril 
pljiiL development would l.c dependent on the present-* 1 of 



Hes(>on3e3 to Comments from 
the Office of Surface Mining, Continued 

adequate moisture. irrigation as described In Item 1(d) 
of the section in question would fill this need. 

12-D. The text has been revised. 

12-E. The text has been revised 30 that the discharge is 3,000 
gal/mln In both places. 

12-F. Portions of the Socioeconomic Conditions section of 
Chapter II have been revised to incorporate more 
information on water supply and wastewater treatment 
facilities. Hefer to the responses to comments 2-H and 
-G, and to Table IV-33. 




David R. Dallago 
2nd Vlcc-Chalrmcn 



©aunty of MriKtnbti 

^Wrh of (GimmuB sinners 



George Wolf 
Counly Manager 



Phone 722-3869 

P. O. Box 70 

Gallup. New Mexico 67301 



December 1, 1978 



i 



Bureau of Land Management 
Albuquerque District Office 
P.O. Box 6770 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109 

Dear Sirs: 

The following are comments concerning the draft Star-Lake Bisti 
Regional Coal Environmental Statement. 

The Environmental Statement appears most competent in both describing 
the impacts of the proposed actions and in outlining possible alter- 
native actions. With the publication of the Statement, the construc- 
tion of the railroad spur line, power transmission line, and related 
coal development appears almost a certainty. While projects cannot 
commence before the issuance of an Environmental Impact Statement, 
rarely, if ever, has the publication of a Statement resulted in the 
total cancellation of a proposed project. Given these facts, emphasis 
in the final version of the Environmental Statement might be placed 
13-A not on a description of possible impacts attributable to the proposed 
action, but on a discussion of the manner in which those identified 
impacts might be mitigated by the specific energy companies involved 
in the action. 

There are three areas in particular, socioeconomic impacts, trans- 
portation, and water rights, where measures to mitigate impacts should 
be investigated. 

Socioeconomic Impacts. 

The addition of 6,350 persons to the population of the ES Region 
by 1990, plus the reshifting of the present population to communities 
closer to mining employment, will aggravate the chronic housing short- 
age and strain the already over-burdened public facilities of the area. 
Energy and energy-related companies might alleviate these problems by: 

1. Informing local and state governmental units, on a regular 
basis, of development plans. With this information, govern- 
mental units can time the installation of capita) improve- 
ments, such as roads, landfills, water and svwotmrc systems 



13-B 



13-C 



Bureau of Land Management 
Environmental Statements 
December 1, 1978 
Page 2 



2. Directly providing support services, such as housing and trans- 
portation for employees. The lack of large-scale developers 
has resulted in haphazard and inadequate private housing 
development, especially in rural communities in the region. 
Energy companies can provide the capital and expert i se neces- 
sary to develop standard, decent housing for area residents. 

3. Assisting, financially, in the provision of needed public facil- 
ities to impacted communities through pre-payment of property 
taxes, industry-backed revenue and general obligation bonds, etc. 

Water Use. 

There has been much concern expressed over the impact of water use 

by coal and uranium producers on community water systems and rural 

water users. A mechanism should be devised, either through changes 
in the state groundwater law or cooperative agreements between the energy 

companies and local water users, to protect the interests of area 
residents in regards to water. 

Transportation. 

It seems apparent, even to the casual observer, that traffic delays 
at railroad grade crossings have increased in the past year. Delays 
at the Gallup crossings of thirty to forty-five minutes, while several 
trains in both directions pass by, are switched back or are stopped 
for inspection, are not uncommon despite a city ordinance prohibiting 
long delays. Therefore, the conclusion in the Environmental Statement, 
that "blockages normally would be limited to a maximum of ten to fifteen 
minutes at any one time" , appears somewhat exaggerated . The Santa Fe 
Railroad might alleviate this problem, both in Gallup and elsewhere by: 

1. Developing a more efficient train schedule. 

2. Moving inspection, loading, and docking points away from 
crossings. 

3. Providing financial assistance, through direct grants or 
loans, railroad-backed bonds, or pre-payinent of taxes for 
needed grade separations, including highway overpasses. 

In addition to tht* above general comments, there are several minor 
errors in the draft statement that should be corrected in the final 
document . 

1. On page 11-68, under Transportation, the statement that a 
public transit system in Gallup exists should be deleted. 
That system is no longer in opera t ion . 



X 



Bureau ot" Land Management 
Lnv i roiuiiL'ii t a J St a temen t s 
December I , 1978 
Page 3 



J 3-D 



On page II 1-6, the statement that the county subdivision 
regulations are not generally applicable to mobile home 
parks is incorrect. Since March, 1976, when an Attorney 
General's opinion was issued concerning this matter, the 
McKinley County Regulations have applied to all subdivisions 
including mobile home parks. 



Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the proposed Star Lake- 
Bi tsi development . 

Yours truly. 



Ava Goldman, 
Planning Officer 



AC/ct 



Responses to Comments from 
the County of McKinley, Board of Commissioners 

13— A. Refer to the response to comment number 2-D. Your 
suggestions r or mitigation of impacts In the ES Region by 
the Individual energy companies Involved in the area are 
noted. The detailed mitigation measures suggested would 
not reduce impacts related to the two right-of-way 
proposals assessed in the ES, although they would reduce 
impacts related to coal development. There are presently 
no coal-development proposals before the Department into 
which such site-specific mitigation could be incorporated. 



Responses to Comments from 
the County of McKinley, Board of Commissioners 

1 3— B. This concern Is addressed in regard to coal development 
under Section 510(b)(3) of the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCHA - P.L. 95-87). No permit 
may be approved if the hydrologic balance outside the 
permit area would be materially damaged. Section 
515(b)(l0)(G) provides that the regulatory authority may 
prescribe measures to minimize disturbances to the 
hydrologic balance in of (site areas. 

1J-C. Your concern is noted. Data provided by the Santa Fe 
Railroad indicate that 15 minutes is the maximum length of 
time it takes for a unit coal train (one mile long) to 
pass through a railroad grade crossing at 1 miles per 
hour. However, this figure is given for a situation In 
which an average amount of movement occurs, and not a yard 
witli operating facilities such as those found in Gallup. 

Information on Gallup's bus system (discontinued In 
November, 1977) has been deleted from the tent. 

1 3-D. The text has been revised. 



I 

to 



Advisory 
Q>uncii On 
Historic 
Preservation 



14 



15*^ K Street NW 
Washington U L". 



14-A 



November 30, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 

DislricL Manager 

bureau of Laud Management 

3550 Pan American Freeway, N.E. 

P. 0. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

This is to acknowledge receipt of the draft environmental 
statement for Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal, northwestern 
New Mexico on October 10, 1976. We regret that we will be 
unable to review and comment on this document in a timely 
manner pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 196y. 

Nevertheless, the Bureau of Land Management is reminded 
thai, if the proposed undertaking will affect properties 
included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register 
of Historic Places, it is required by Section 106 of the 
National Historic Preservation Act of I966 (lb U.3.C. l*70f, 
as amended, 90 Stat. 1320) to afford the Advisory Council on 
Historic Preservation an opportunity to coinroent on the 
undertaking prior to the approval of the expenditure of any 
Federal funds or prior to the issuance of any license. The 
"Procedures for the Protection of Historic arid Cultural 
Properties" (36 CFR Part 800.1*) detail the steps an agency 
is to follow in requesting Council comment. 

Generally , the Council considers environmental evaluut ions 
to be adequate when they contain evidence of compliance with 
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as 
amended. The environmental documentation must demonstrate 
that either of the following conditions exists: 

1. No properties included in or that may be eligible for 
inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places ai>- 



Page 2 

Mr. L. Paul Applegate 

Star Lake-bistl Regional Coal 

November 30, 1978 



located within the area of environmental impact, and the 
undertaking will not affect any such property. In making 
this determination, the Council requires: 

— evidence that the agency has consulted the latest edition 
of the National Register (Federal Register , February 7, 1978, 
and its monthly supplements); 

— evidence of an effort to ensure the identification of 
properties eligible for inclusion in the National Register 
including evidence of contact with the State Historic Preservation 
Officer, whose comments should be included in the final 
environmental statement . 

2. Properties included in or that may be eligible for 
inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places are 
located within the area of environmental impact, arid the 
undertaking will or will not affect any such property. 2n 
cases where there will be an effect, the final environmental 
statement should contain evidence of compliance with Section 
106 of the National Historic Preservation Act through the 
Council's "Procedures for the Protection of Historic and 
Cultural Properties". 

Should you have any questions, please call Michael Quinn at 
(303) 23 t i- l t9 l t6, an FT3 number. 



Sincerely , 




Louis S . Wall 

Assistant Director 

Office of Review and Compliance, 



CO 



The 

Wilderness 

Society 



15 



1901 Pennsylvania Avp NW Washington D C ?00i)6 i20?) 293-2732 



Mr. L. Paul «pplegate 

District Manager 

BIjM, Albuquerque District Office 

P.O. Box fc-770 

Albuquerque, NM 87109 



m lumuuw 

NEW MEXICO FlflD CONSUITWT 
THE WILDER'IfSS SOCICI/ 

p.o. m £oi 

SILVER CITV.HM 83061 
1505) 353 4326 

11/30/78 



15-A 



15-B 
15-C 



Dear Mr. Applegate, 

star ? fl w» U R?^ ik B t0 ma ^ e ri th ? fol l°wing brief comments on the 
!n a the a ^«h«stf e810nal Dra " EIS f ° r th8 «"•«■•" Society 
a „ oh First of all, we believe that the paleontological and 
archaeological resources are the paramount resources of the area 
and their protection should have precedenc e over other resources' 
The paleonotological resources are of world-wide significance and 

Tution^Jt i r°\ lde anS !T er3 to questions concerning the evo- 
lution. metabolic type and extinction of dinosaurs. Archaeo 
logical resources of the area are also of prime importance 
They could likev.ise reveal information aboul the evolution and 
virtual extinction of cultures. . .information that could be 
of practical as well as scholarly importance. 

Ihe publication of the draft seems predicated 
upon the assumption that the New Mexico Generating Station 
near the Bisti site will, in fact.be built? However! the plant 
is not beyond the proposal stage at this point. No El' has 
been issued. Nor has any land been leased. Furthermore no 
and n«,fhi r ^ generatin S Acuity has been demonstrated, 
and possible alternatives to the plant haven't been explored 
1?« sort of lease exchange occurrs, then a generating plant 
Stably won't be sited at Bisti. These factor! can't bf dis- 
missed as lightly as they were in the regional analysis of the 

claimed" 'Hnw^v^ af r h aSS Kf? S that stri P m i«ed land can be re- 

ti^ k However ' the ability to reclaim arid or sami-arid 

sites has not been proved by any project to date. 

tho „ ln addition, the development of roadless areas prior to 

the completion of the wilderness inventory process is in violation 

of the interim management provisions of FLPMa. violation 

,. I "i i * ht of the above factors, the Wilderness Societv 
would like to make the following comments. Society 

-The developments mentioned in the draft be held in abeyance 
until such time as ar chaeological and paleon^ologic^ 
as well as wilderness studies can be completed. 



The 

WilderneSS ,901 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington D C M006 i202 t 293-2732 

Society 



If development must proceed, then it should progress in 
in increments. The entire railroad system shouldn't be 
built at one time, because this will lock in the direction 
and degree of development. 

If mining must proceed, we believe that the rail transport 
system should join either the ConPaso line or one of the 
alternative routes from Star Lake to the main line of the 
AT&SF. This routing would cause lesser damage to the 
paleontological, archaeological and wilderness resources of 
the region. Protection of these resources outweighs 
he comparatively small energy savings that may be gained 
by the original routing. ..in our estimation at least. 
The power transmission lines should be routed in the 
above or existing corridors for the same reasons, 
you for allowing me to express these opinions in behalf 
members of the Wilderness Society in the Southwest. 



15-D 

Thank 
of the 



Sincerely, 



V-, 



Bob Langsenkamp (/ 






14. 



Kesponse to Cumnent from 
the Advisory Council on Historic ('reservation 

hefer to Chapter IX of the Regional ES and Appendiic li 
(Cultural Resources section) for 5HP0/NPS/BLM consultation 
concerning a sample of archeologlcal sites from the Star 
Lake-Bistl random sample 3urvey of the coal region. As 
specific proposals are considered in future environmental 
documents, complete inventories will be accomplished and 
SHPO consultation will identify sites eligible for the 
National Register as required by Federal legislation. 

SHPO consultation concerning sites in the Star Lake 
Railroad right-of-way Is documented In National Park 
Service and BLM files. SHPO consultation will al3o follow 
establislment of a centerllne for the Fruitland Coal Load 
transmission line. 



Kesponses to Comments from 
The Wilderness Society 

15-A. The New Kexico Generating Station is, in fact, still in 
the proposal sta^e, as stated In Chapter I of the Regional 
ES. It was Included In the ES not as part of the proposed 
action, but in order to assess cumulative impacts related 
to different levels of coal development that could occur 
In the region If the proposed actions are approved. The 
approval of plant construction would constitute a major 
Federal action, and It Is recognized that additional 
environmental Impact assessment would be required prior to 
construction. 



Kesponses to Cumments from 
The Wilderness Society, Continued 

15-B. The discussion of impacts on vegetation (Chapter IV) 
points out the difficulties and limitations that would 
affect reclamation efforts. Observations of the 
reclamation of mined lands at the HcKinley mine Indicate 
that reclamation successes can be achieved within the ES 
Region. 

15-C. Hefer to the revised Wilderness section of Chapter II, 
where it Is stated, "During the period of review of those 
areas, and until Congress has determined otherwise, the 
Secretary shall continue to manage such lands according to 
his authority under Fl.PMA and other applicable laws. This 
shall be done in a manner so as not to impair the 
suitability of these areas for preservation as wilderness, 
subject, however, to the continuation of existing grazing, 

mining uses, and mineral leasing in a manner and degree in 
which the same were being conducted on the date of 
approval of FLPMA." 

15-D. The alternative of routing the FCL transmission line in 
the same right-of-way as the Star Lake Railroad has been 
added to Chapter VIII of the Fruitland Coal Load analysis. 
Please refer to this section. 



Salt River Project 

WATER ♦ POWER 



16 



BOX 1980 PHOENIX. ARIZONA B5001 



TELEPHONE 273 5900 



Salt River Project 



Mr. Applegate 
December 1, 1978 
Page 2 



■ 



16-A 



December 1, 1978 



Paul Applegate, District Manager 
Bureau of Land Management 
P. 0. Box 6770 
Albuquerque, N.M. 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

The Salt River Project has reviewed the Draft Star Lake-Bisti 
Regional Coal Environmental Statement and wishes to offer comments 

First, at pages 11-18, there is a statement which refers to the 
Pittsburg and Midway Company McKinley Mine as follows: 

This mine . . . ships about one million tons of 
coal a year. Most of this coal goes to the Arizona 
Public Service Company's Cholla Plant. 



This mine is being expanded at the present time and coal from 
the expanded production will form a partial coal supply for the 
Salt River Project's Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns, 
Arizona. The Salt River Project will require coal in addition 
to this partial coal supply to operate the units presently under 
construction at Coronado and for future units to be located 
either at the Coronado site or at additional sites. 



16-B 



Secondly, at page VII-31p Table VII-14 

mine is shown as having zero sediment 
indiciating that no construction activ 
that year. In fact, development drill 
site as early as January 1, 1984, with 
sitn March 11, 1985, should Federal Le 
to permit this schedule to be met. Th 
proposed mine were given by Salt River 
Atcock and Associates on June 15, 1977 
Environmental Statement and correctly 



; Salt River Project's proposed 
discharge in 1985, apparently 
ity is expected at the site in 
ing could be anticipated at the 

construction starting on the 
aees be available soon enoi^h 
e employment figures for the 

Project to Clara Kelley of 
, for use in the subject Draft 
reflect the above schedule. 



Thirdly, the placement of the Salt River Project's development plans 
in a section of the Draft Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal Environmental 
Statement entitled "Full Development Scenario" tends to give a mis- 
leading impression regarding the strong plans by the Salt River Pro- 



ject to develop this proposed coal supply. It is important that the 
long lead time for coal development at Salt River Project's proposed 
site does not create an impression that these plans are not likely 
to take place. The Salt River Project is a direct user' of coal and 
is taking all possible steps to secure a supply of coal from this 
proposed development in the late 1980 time frame. The reason that 
the development is not taking place sooner is primarily that the 
length of time required to bring a mine into production on Federal 
Leases obtained through a new Federal Coal Leasing Program has caused 
the Salt River Project to seek interim supplies until coal is avail- 
able from this source. 



16-C 



Finally, the Regional Development Summary does not make mention of 
the proposed withdrawal and exchange of over 73,000 acres of public 
land in northwestern New Mexico. This exchange with the Navajo Tribe 
was initially proposed by the Bureau of Land Management on January 12, 
1978. The various environmental and developmental impacts on the 
area of interest from this proposal should be assessed in the regional 
analysis portion of the Final Environmental Statement. 



4. wQii+chutr. 

LeVoy M^rchael, Jr. 
Assistai:t General Manag 
Planning & Resources 




dm 




Responses to Comments from 
the Salt River Project 

16-A. This information has been added to the text. 

16-B. If the planned expansion Includes activity originating 
before 1985, the site-specific analysis prepared at the 
time the mining plan is assessed will include these 
impacts. 

16-C. The exchange referred to is the Navajo Land Exchange (BLM 
serial number 32311). No parcel of public land will leave 

BLM administration if it has been Identified by the BLM as 

i— i 

^ being on probable strippable coal areas, on an existing 

i 

Oi coal lease, where a Preference Right Lease Application 

exists, or on any lands adjacent to lands with these 
characteristics. 

For a complete discussion of the environmental impacts 
associated with the Navajo Exchange, please refer to the 
Environmental Assessment Record (EAR No. NM-010-8-826 
(F)}, drafted July 18, 1978. A copy of this document was 
mailed to your office; additional copies are available at 
the BLM Albuquerque District Office. 



X 

-J 




17 



Coniolidatlon Coal Company 

Wetlerii Htgiun 
LilryW Sjly.i j ln..in«n D,,.« l*H 

jn«g«r SurUua liampoiulion EnulcvixxJ Coloiedo 601 10 

303 110 IbUO 

November 30. 1978 



Hr. L. Paul Applegate 

District Manager 

Bureau of Land Management 

3SS0 Pan American Freeway, N.E. 

P. 0. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87)07 

dear Sir: 

Your Draft Environmental Statement Star Lake - 111 s 1 1 Regional Coal 
makes numerous references to the proposed ConPaso railroad which 
would connect the proposed Consolidation Coal Company/El Paso 
Natural Gas Company coal lease on the Navajo Indian Reservation 
between Burnhain and Bistl, New Mexico, to the San Juan Power Plant 
on the North and to the Santa Fe R.R. mainline on the South. The 
Draft Statement consistently refers to the proposed ConPaso rail- 
road as a private line and In one place (VII! - 16) states "ConPaso 
has indicated that the line would be a private rail line and that 
it will not apply for common carrier authority from the l.C.C". 

It would be helpful to have the detail on the source of the above 
quote such that it could be evaluated in more detail. In any 
event, please accept the following as the current positions of 
Consolidation Coal Company and El Paso Natural Gas Company on the 
matter. 

The proposed ConPaso railroad involves two (2) distinct segments 
winch are being referred to as Burnhain North Railroad and Burnham 
South Railroad. Burnhain North Railroad will connect the proposed 
coal mine in the Burnham area to the San Juan Power Plant and will 
not connect to other railroads. As such, the Burnham North HR. 
could very well operate as a private line for a period of time, 
but it should be clearly understood, that £1 Paso and Consol 
would not hesitate to apply for l.C.C. cert it nation if the Navajo 
Tribe of Indians or industries in the area develop a need to 
utilize any portion of this proposed line. 



17-A 



17-8 



Hr. L. Paul Applegale 
November 30, 1978 
Page Two 



The Burnham Sooth Railroad, which will be several years later in 
development than the Burnham North, will connect to the Santa Fe 
Railroad and will most probably generate traffic other than 
Consol/El Paso coal and in such case will require l.C.C. certification. 

In summary then, references to the ConPaso railroad should be 
revised as Indicated on the attached pages froa the draft documents. 



Sincerely. 



I. M. Salyer 



IHS:YL 

Enclosure 

c: C. Bowman 
L. fuller 
S. Sherwood 



Kesponse to Comments from 
Consolidation Coal Company 

17-A. The phrase referred to in Chapter VIII has been deleted 
from the text. 

17-B. Suggested changes have been made In the tent (see Chapter 
I, Regional Development Summary - Con Paso Railroad; 
Chapter II, Future Environment Without the Proposed Action 
- Transportation; Chapter VIII, Regional Transportation - 
Con Paso Routes; and Chapter II C5LR), Transportation - 
Railroads) . 



New Mexico 



18 



WILDERNESS STUDY COMMITTEE 




9601 Haines Avenue HE 
Albuquerque, Hew Bexioo 67112 
December 2, 1978 



COMMHTEE TO PRESERVE BISTI 

715 Weac Apacha 
Farming ton. Hew- Mairfco S74Q1 



I 

00 



18-A 



Bureau of Land Kanagemer.t 
Albuquerque District Offioo 
P.O. Box 6770 
Albuquerque, New Mexioo 87109 

Dear Sirsi 

I am writing regarding the Draft Environmental Statement for the Star Lake-Bisti 
Coal region. 

In reviewing these draft publications, I am much surprised at all of the activity 
that is being planned in the near future. I am pleased that draft Environmental 
Statements are prepared such M this to help coordinate the many developments and to 
stimulate the planning process. This Draft Statement is very informative, containing 
a wealth of information. 

It is doubtful if I can add much to this statement other than express some 
general concerns. 

Railroad and powilines, plan them so other utilities, roads and pipelines can 
use the same oorridors where ewer possible. Plan them to have the least impact on 
ro r dlesE areas and natural areas. 

AreaB of major interest are the proposed BiBti Badlands Outstanding Natural area 
and the suggested Paleontologloal Preserve as recommended by the Committee to Preserve 
Bisti and the Four Corners Wilderness Workshop (see enclosure). Also enclosed are 
some letters relating to these proposals. 

Please help to get the Coal lease by Western Coal Company exohanged so the Bisti 
Area oan be preserved. 

The suggested Paleontological Preserve ebould be saved from strip mining until 
the last, Possibly new sources of enegry will be developed before all the ooal is 

IfjGSQOCU 



April 7. 1978 

Honorable Cadi Andrua 
Secretary of the Interior 
Office of the Secretary 
Washington, D.C. 20240 

Dear Hr. Andrus; 

We era concerned abouc exploration for coal and uranium which 
Is damaging a very unique and beautiful area called the Blacl Badlands. 
Thia Involves mostly BLM land. Our organizations have been trying to 
get preservation of this land from coal scrip mining. Recent new 
paleoncologlcal discoveries indicate that a larger area should he left 
untouched. 

We ask your assistance in thia matter. 

Sincerely, 




ack Fowler, 
Four Corners Wilderness Workshop 



Don Lynghoda 



£, AJL±^ 



Alton If 

Saa Juas County Hueeua Association 



Four CoraersrUlldennaa Workshop 



Sincerely, 



% lm^~ 



Kilo H. Conrad 

Pest Direotor and Founder HJWSC 



Bnolosures 



1) />r«<»j/»«« 



72i*/v zi 



T 2 + rf 



SutfHCS'eJ Pa/cchfo/cfiCa/ fr-cjer^cs 



Bisti-Hunhrs fr*sh- Djo A/a**o LWe&t) and Dena zin - A /**o fy*'h Ctn^/tence 



TiStf 



Tit*' 



i 



T2*# 



T2J/V 




Tl3fJ 



Att-v l /usw 



R a* fi 12 v 



d ; _ „_. _ .. Kcti iH^en Jed 



knv ft. U" 

l\\V\l 



rrtitrrc 



7 






THE BISTI BADLANDS 



AbouC 30 miles south of Farmington, New Mexico, is a nearly 
barren urea called The Bisti Badlands. Here the soft bedrock has been 
carved Into fantastic shapes by wind and water. They contain paleonto- 
loglcal resources that are probably the best In the world for the 
geologic Cims apan represented. A recent survey has yielded exciting 
information about the time. Just previous to the extinction of the 
dinosaurs. Unfortunately nest of this same area predominately public 
land, nan bean laaaed for atrip mining of coal. 

Previously six conservation oriented groups had recommended an 
especially scenic portion of the badlands be set aside as an Outstanding 
Natural Area. The ares proposed had some 7400 acres including some 
state and Navajo land. By making boundaries conform with watersheds 
the area was designed for protection from sedimentation from mine oper- 
ations. Also by using divides between watersheds as boundaries, Che 
area would be screened from mine spoil banks and the natural setting 
would b« preserved. Later a much reduced area was recommended by chc 
Bureau of Land Management. 

With tha important new finds and information gathered by the 
Paleontological Survey for the Bureau pf Land Management, October 31, 
1977, we urge thaE the preserves recommended be established and protected 
from damaging use. These areas are said to equal or exceed those paleon- 
tological areas preserved in Petrified Forest National Park and Dinosaur 
National Monument. We request Immediate evaluation for possible Inclusion 
in the National Park System or other designation which will protecc these 
resources and prevent their destruction by mining. It can hardly be 
doubted that our grandchildren will be grateful for having this unique 
natural area as well as coal reserves, both of which they will probably 
need more than we. 

The pictures show some of the scenic resources and petrified 
wood. Tha map shows the proposed preserve and the original area recom- 
mended by us as an Outstanding Natural Area. 



EXCERPTS FROM: 



Paleontological Survey, Resource Assessment, And Mitigation 
Plan For The Blstl-Star Lake Area, Northwestern New Mexico. 



Report to the Bureau of Land Management, Albuquerque. New Mexico, October 31, 
1977, by Barry S. Kues. Jeffrey W. Froshllch. Judith A. Schlebout, and Spencer 



G. Lucas. 



"During the period March - October, 1977, our team from the University 
of New Mexico and Louisiana State University completed a comprehensive survey of 
the paleontological resources of a large area in northwestern New Mexico (San 
Juan Basin) for the Bureau of Land Management. This was o «™ >^ "« 
parts of this area have large deposits of coal and other minerals tha could 
relatively e.s'.ly be exploited by large scale strip mining. Some mining Is al- 
ready in progress and several companies have expressed interest in beginning 
strip miniag operations in other areas. The purpose of our study was to determine 
what effects 8 scrip mining, and related activities such as road, «"»•*•»"£'- 
Uae and power plant construction, would have on the paleontological ™ s °^"* 
of' the area, and to suggest ways in which the impact could be mitigated so that 
coal mining could proceed without the loss of inordinate amounts of significant 
paleontological information. 

"Previous workers have established that the vertebrate faunas of the 
Cretacenus and early Tertiary of northwestern New Mexico sre abundant diverse 
and -of enormous significance! There are perhaps only three or four other places 
in the world where strata containing the last dinosaurs are overlain with little 
Interruption by units containing the primitive mammals that replaced them, and 
which eventually led to many of the familiar mammal groups present today. 

New Ideas about dinosaurs, such as the possibility that most Cretaceous 

The 




information aDout i»t "■= .)"="■ r* — - — . ..■„,,„ covered 

tial amount of previous work, our survey revealed areas that are literally covered 
with dinosaur bones, several partial or complete dinosaur skeletons, and several 
types thought to be new to science. In addition, we discovered some unique 
associations; for example, a petrified forest containing a dinosaur skeleton 
and many other bones, along with beautifully preserved beds «P«»^ "« 
and streams that existed in or near the forest. Such deposits contain fossils 
of turtles, crocodiles, fish, and some of the rarest Crecaceous fossils of all 

tLaiEIltllO • 

"Much also remains to be learned about the initial Paleocene radiation 
of the mammals. Some types which persist today, such as primates «««•*£»« " 
secure foothold in a world left relatively empty by the demlseof _the dinosaurs. ^ 



X 

I 
©I 



"Two areas appropriate for Paleontological Preserves also have 
especially interesting and scenic gcomorphologic and topographic features: 
Bisti-Hunter'a Wash and Kutz Canyon-Angel's Peak. Preservation of the paleon- 
tological resources In these places might be combined with rhe development of 
these areas into paleontologlcally and geologically oriented parks. The 
surface deposits of petrified legs and dinosaur bones, and striking surflcial 
topography in the Blsti-Hunte r' 3 Wash area could be utilized as informative 
and Impressive natural displays with the addition of explanatory material 
and minor development of facilities like foot trails. While bringing to the 
public's attention aspects of their paleontological resources, and demonstrating 
the geologic occurrence of coal before ic is mined, such parks would also be 
sitas of ongoing paleontological research. 

(There follows a brief description and locations of the two 
suggested paleontological preserves in the Bistl area which are listed 
number five and six.) 

(5) DEXAZIN - ALAMO WASH CONFLUENCE 

Includes the following area (Huerfano Trading Post SW and 
Alamo Mesa East 7V quadrangles) : 

T 24 N, R 11 W Sees. W>j 2, 3-4, E>} 5, ESj 8, 9-10, N^ 15, 16, 
T 25 N, R 11 U SEk 34, SWk 35 

Area: 74 square miles 

High Impact Area: square miles 

Comments: Cotyplcal area for Puercan (early Paleocene) standard land 
vertebrate age. Contains excellent and diverse early mammal fossils that 
complement those at Betonnie Tsosle, and striking badlands topography. 

(6) BISIT - HUNTERS WASH - 0J0 ALAMO 

Includes the following areas (Alamo Mesa East and Alamo Mesa 
West 7V quadrangles): 



T 23 N, R 12 W Sees. 

T 23 N, R 13 W 

I 24 H, 11 11 W 

T 24 N, R 12 W 



T 24 N, R 13 W 



T 25 N, R 11 W 
125 N. R 12 W 



N>t 5, N 3/4 6 

E4 1, N*3 3, NE>t 4 

6-7, \fii 3, 17-18, N4 19, N>j 20 

1-4, E 3/4 5, 9-15. 18-19, S4 20, 

all but tm\ 21, 22-24, HWk 26, all but 

S4SE>t 27, 28-33, WSNUk 34 

13, SE<t, S4SWV, ShNEH; 14, Sk 15, all but 

WA 21, 22-28, &i 29, all but SW^ 33, 34-36 

S4 31 

£H 31, 32-33, SH 34, SH 35, S't 36 



remains found within the Study Area. Though these deposits have been studied 
for almost a century, our survey, which really only scratched the surface of 
these sites, revealed the best complete skull ever found of a mammal about the 
size of a large dog that may have had poison fangs, a partial skeleton of 
another rare species, a skull of a juvenile of a third species, and hundreds 
of teeth and Jaw fragments of a great variety of other farms, including at 
least five new species. The implication of these discoveries, made in areas 
where previous paleontological work had been done, is that the potential for 
significant new discoveries continues to be great. Some groups of less con- 
spicuous fossils within the Study Area, such as plants and molluscs, have 
essentially never been studied at all. In addition, several significant 
deposits of fossil vertebrates were found in areas or stratigraphic units 
where none had been known before. 



"We recommend that six are 
as Paleontological Preserves - areas 
that are among the best, or are the be 
geologic time they represenc. These P 
for ongoing paleontological research, 
scenic beauty that would be appropriat 
square miles of these proposed Paleont 
Interest in mining has been expressed, 
paleontological resources outweighs th 



as within the Study Area be established 
that contain paleontological resources 
st in the world for the seg-menc of 
reserves should be completely protected 
and in two cases Include areas of great 
e for natural history parks. About 27 
ologlcal Preserves are in areas where 
In our opinion, Che value of the 
value of the coal in these areas. 



Area: 51 3/4 square miles 

High Impact Area: 24 3/8 square miles 



"Our survey, combined with previous studies, has shown that parts 
of the Bi3ti-Star Lake area in northwestern New Mexico have paleontological 
resources whose scientific value cannoc be overestimated. We urge that 
these resources be preserved to a degree commensurate with their value. 

"Federal and State governments have recognized that some areas in 
the United States contain paleontological or archaeological resources of such 
great importance that they must be maintained in an undisturbed state for 
posterity, for continuing scientific study, and for the instruction of the 
public. Dinosaur, Badlands, John Day, and Florissant National Monuments and 
Petrified Forest National Park have been established to preserve important 
fossil deposits, and many archaeological parks and monuments, such as Chaco 
Canyon in New Mexico, have been established for the same reasons for archaeo- 
logical remains. Some areas within northwestern New Mexico have fossil deposits 
that are of equal or greater importance than those mentioned above. 

several functions. First it 
future generations of geolo- 
tematic and careful collection 
gists without severe land 
f ln_ situ relationships that 
program would also be possible, 
ument-like organization, a 
ladsrooio to instruct students 

and wonder of unique and 



"A Paleontological Preserve would have 
would preserve unique areas as reference site for 
gists and paleontologists. It would allow the sys 
and study of the fossils in the area by paleontolo 
use pressures waiting in the near future. Study o 
would be destroyed by land use or a rapid salvage 
In some cases, within the context of a park or toon 
Paleontological Preserve would provide a natural c 
and Interested visitors on the nature, importance 
impressive paleontological resources. 



I 



Comments; This large area comprises Che "Blstl Badlands and related Lace 
Cretaceous exposures to the east along Hunters and Willow Washes, and the 
type section of the OJo Alamo Sandstone. It has long been recognized as 
having some of the best Late Cretaceous dinosaur and rare mammal fossils in 
the world. Many of these fossils have been collected and studied over the 
last 100 years but from only a relatively small percentage of the entire 
area. Our survey revealed many additional bone beds, screening sices that 
should yield large numbers of mammal remains, and petrified log localities. 
Dinosaur skeletons suitable for- study and display have been removed in the 
past, and several await excavation; many new species of reptiles and mammals 
have been described froa the area and additional new texa were discovered 
during our survey. Adequate study of the vast paleontological resources here 
will take decades. In addition, the area possesses a highly distinctive and 
scenically attractive topography consisting of deeply incised arroyo systems 
with prominent sandstone-capped pillars. The combination of striking topography 
and surface deposits of large impressive fossils make some of this area a logical 
place for a nacural history park of some sort. In the eastern part of this 
suggested Preserve is the type locality of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone, a critical 
unit that spans the Mesozolc-Cenozoic boundary." 

(Much additional information Is available in this fascinating 
study.) Location of the above two paleontological preserves are shown on 
eha Bap. 



New Mexico 



WILDERNESS STUDY COMMITTEE 




ScGl Haines Avenue ,HE 
Albuouaroua, Hew Mexico 
August 17, 1978 



37112 



Honorable Cecil Andrua 
Secretary of the Interior 
Office of the Ssoretary 
Hoahin<rton, B.C. 20240 

Sear Secretary Andrua i 

I am writing you this appeal for help for to* COKJTTTEE TO P.-^SEiVE Jim. 
The Bisti Badlands Is a very unique natural area on ELM land In northwestern flow atoxic u 
that is threathened by ooal strip einlng- 

Some of us members of the Hew Mexico Wilderness Study Committee helped tne 
Four Corners Wilderness Workshop get its start in 1970.. I hava watched thee gran 
and I have observed their gallant efforts to get parts of the Bisti Badlands Classif- 
ied as an Outstanding B&tural Ares. 

The Outstanding surface features and the Paleontological Jtesources as reports-! 
by the survey conducted in 1977 by the University of Hew Mexico and Louisiana State 
University for ELK should be euftlcient evidence of the uniqueness of this area. Sea 
the enclosed April 7, 1978 letter and report from the COHKITTEE TO PHESE3VE BISTI - 

We are touch aware of our Nation's needs for enegry and of the vast coal fiei .■ 
in the San Juan Basin In northwest Hew tiexioo. Coal Companies have shown an early 
Interest in those coal reserves nearest to the surface ouch as parts of Hunter's Wat.i 
in the Bisti Badlands. Our Country has enough ooal reeerves to last us for the nei. 
100 years without mining the ooal in the Paleontological Preserve as suggested by iu* 
COMMITTEE TO PRESE2VE BISTI. 

Secant Besearch Accompolishoenta indicate that oommerclal power froa sea !. 
ley be available within about sixty years. Much of our ooal reserves will still i, ■, 
unmined when latest energy sources beooae available. 

The Paleontological Preserves as suggested by the COMMITTEE TO PBBSB3VB 51:. V. 
does acpear quite realistic and studies should start soon toward this goal. Furtbav 
coal leasing in the San Juan Basin should wait until this goal ia accompollshed. 



_2_ 



HA*OU> RUMMCUa 



COMMtTTVE OM ARMSO KERVtCSS 



Mr. Andru3, your help i3 greatly needed to re-nerotia.te existing coal leases 
to ;<eatern Coal Comiany in the Hunters Wash area of tbe Bisti Badlands. Also , 
please initiate a study for a Pal»ontolocical Preserve as suggested by the eOi'C'JTTZE 



couMirrai ON 

IMTOMOW AMD INH KW APFAIKA 



TO PRESZHVE BISTI. 



Thank You. 



Haipectfully Tours, 



Milo M. Conrad 

Fast Director and Founder HHWSC 



conies toi 



CO 



Senator Fate Domonici 
Senator Jack Schmitt 
Congressman Kami a I Lujan, Jr. 
Congrasaman Harold Huzujais 



Congress of tije TBnittb &tatt* 

ftoiufe of Heprtgentatibtg 
SBaiftfnfllon. ».«. 20915 




August 25, 197B 



Mr. Milo M. Conrad 

9601 Haines Avenue, N.E. 

Albuquerque, Mew Mexico 87112 

Dear Milo: 

I am in receipt of your recent correspondence in 
reference to the Bisti Badlands. 

As you know, the New Mexico Delegation is jointly 
working to ensure that BLM activities are very 
carefully monitored. As you are further aware, to 
adequately hand the natural resources discovered at 
the site and to ensure that no mining or drilling 
activities either eliminate or damage any major 
paleontological finding the State of New Mexico, 
under the instruction of Governor Apodaca, has formed 
a citizens task force for this specific purpose. 

I appreciate hearing from you and be assured the 
delegation will continue to pursue this matter with 
the utmost of concern and consideration. 



Sincerely , 



HAROLD RUNNELS, 



M.C. 



HAHSISON SCHMITT 
HEW MEXICO 



COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE. 
SCIENCE. AND TRANSFORMATION 



BEIJECTCOMMITTSjE ON ETHIC* 



'SCwUeb kitties Senate 

WASHINGTON. O.C. 20510 

September 15, 1978 



UJCmlefc Ablates ,5>cwaie 

WASHINGTON. OX. I031Q 

October 6, 1978 



I 

en 



Mr. Mllo M. Conrad 
9601 Haines, N.E. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87112 

Dear Mllo: 

Thank you for sending a copy of your letter and enclosures to 
Cecil Andrus regarding the Blsti Badlands. 

I would be most interested in receiving a copy of the reply you 
receive If it is at all possible, an Intensive recovery program 
concentrating on on-site study, collection and museum preservation 
would save the fossils, but eventually allow mining in the area. 
Setting aside some areas of this land for paleontological research 
may be necessary, but should be fhe exception rather than the rule. 

Regarding the Carlsbad Wilderness proposal, I appreciate your position, 
but a compromise partially reducing the proposed acreage is necessary 
if the local community is to be considered. At 33,125 acres, the. 
wilderness area will still be quite sizeable. 

I do appreciate your input on these issues, although we may disagree 
somewhat. Please continue to keep me informed on matters of concern. 

Sincerely, 

Harflson Scnmitt 
HS:fdl 



Mr. Milo M. Conrad 

Past Director and Founder 

N.M. Wilderness Study Committee 

9601 Haines, N.E . 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87112 



Dear Milo: 



I am pleased to inform you that on September 20, 
the Senate passed the Coal Leasing Amendments of 1978. 
This legislation includes language giving the Secretary 
of the Interior the authority to exchange coal leases 
to avoid adverse environmental and social impacts which 
would result due to mining operations. 

On the floor of the Senate, I was assured that 
the paleontological and archeological finds in the Star 
Lake Bisti area meet the exchange requirements of this 
legislation. Needless to say, I am delighted that our 
efforts to see this valuable paleontological site 
protected have net with success. 

I want to thank you for your continued interest 
and support for this legislation. If I can be of fur- 
ther assistance or service, please do not hesitate to 
let me know. 

Best wishes, 




United States Senator 



PVD:baps 



X 

I 

en 

en 




United States Department of the Interior 

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240 



OCT 1 1 1S78 

Mr. Milo M. Conrad 

Past Director and Founder of the 

New Mexico Wilderness Study Committee 
9601 Haines Avenue, NE 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87112 

Dear Mr. Conrad: 

Thank you for your letter of August 17, 1978, concerning the 
Bisti Badlands. 

We appreciate your concern and the interest of the New Mexico 
Wilderness Study Committee in preserving these outstanding 
geologic features. 

We have been negotiating with the Western Coal Company, which 
has held Federal coal leases on part of the area, for several 
years in an attempt to exchange these outstanding coal leases 
for Federal coal in other areas. The Western Coal Company has 
assured us that it Is in favor of protecting the Bisti Badlands 
and is working with us to try to resolve the problem. 

If our negotiations are successful in modifying the existing 
leases, we will be free to make a study of the land for its 
designation as a paleontological preserve, as suggested by the 
Committee to Preserve Bisti. 



Sincerely, 



Deputy Assistant Secretary for 
Land and Water Resources 





Response to Comment from 
the New Mexico Wilderness Study Committee 

18. On September 27, 1977, the U.S. District Court, District 
of Columbia issued an order in the case N.R.D.C. vs. 
Hughes, enjoining the U.S. Department of the Interior from 
directly or indirectly Implementing a new coal leasing 
program, including issuing any additional leases for 
Federally-owned coal. It Is the opinion of the Department 
that the exchange of leases with Western Coal Company in 
the Bisti would Involve the issuance of a new lease and 
would therefore currently be in violation of the court 
order . 

It should be noted that P.L. 95-551, passed by the last 
Congress (and referenced in the October 6, 1978 letter 
from Senator Domenicl to Mr. Conrad), did allow the 
Department to exchange coal leases or preference right 
lease applications for specific sites in Utah and Wyoming. 
If similar legislation were passed allowing the exchange 
of Western's coal leases, the Department would pursue the 
exchange within the constraints of the court order. 



OLUTrQv 




19-Al 



I 



19 

gettKU Tlcw TtUxUo rfudcdo* Society 

POST OFFICE BOX J0002 - ALBUQUERQUE, NKW MEXICO 87110 

4 December 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
District Manager 
Bureau of Land Management 
3550 Pan American Freeway NE 
Albuquerque, NM 87107 

Dear Mr. Applegate; 

We feel that the Star Lake - Bisti Regional Coal DES is incomplete 
.because the regional analysis lacks a section on mitigating measures. 
Without knowing what mitigating measures are proposed it is impossible to 
try to determine whether developement of the area will be worthwhile 
considering the environmental loss, particularly the loss of paleontological 
and cultural resources. Though the Star Lake Railroad (SLR) and the Fruit- 
land Coal Load (FCL) Transmission Line, themselves, will have relatively 
little affect on the environment; regional developement because of the SLR 
and Fa transmission line could have a very large impact on the environment. 

The site specific analyses are adequate, however we feel the DES has 
the following deficiencies ; 



!9-» 



19-C 



19-D 



19-E 



1. The regional analysis should cover a longer time span as the present 
survey covers less than half of the projected lifespan of the proposed 
actions . 

Better assessment of regional developements on ground water resources. 
The long term impact of the loss of ground water reserves on the region 
should be considered. 

Contradictory statements are made with regard to roadless areas. On 
page SLR 111-12, it is stated that "The proposed route would remove 
approximately 17 acres of right-of-way from Roadless Area NM-010-09 
and approximately 6 acres from NM-010-58 ... essentially eliminating 
these roadless areas from further consideration." Both of these 
roadless areas are fairly large and loss of small acreages should not 
prevent the remaining area from being considered for wilderness desig- 
nation. Then on page SLR IV-2 under Land Use, it is stated "The roadless 
areas identified within the SLR right-of-way will be evaluated ... for 
... wilderness characteristics .... If ... found to have wilderness 
characteristics, the right-of-way would have to be amended to avoid 
those lands." This is contradictory to what is stated on page SLR III- 
12. A similar conflict is noted on pages F III-8 and F IV-1. 

, No discussion is made of possible effects of electro-magnetic radiation 
on wildlife and vegetation. 



5. 



19-f 



19-G 



19-H 



7. 



?,? Aasstr-s sasss ass.!' ir 

could be facilitated by either: 

a Providing a transparent overlay with areas of coal interest, the 

prised SIB and FCL and towns and highways marked, 
b. Marking the areas of coal interest and the proposed SLR and Fa on 

each map. 
c Marking the township - range grid on each map. 

Lake switching station. 

Some discrepancies in figures were noted, among them: 

a. The right-of-way requirements on BLM land is given as 289.1 acres 

on page SLR 1-1 and as 289.6 acres in Table SLR 1-2. 
h On case SLR 111-17 under Demographic Features it is stated that 
SS tt 8 200 of the 310 man construction force are expected to be 
residents of the region. In the next paragraph it is stated that 
60 percent would not be local. 
In Table B-16 (pages B- 75-77), the chemical symbol for Arsenic is As 
and for Strontium is Sr. 



19-1 



Comments and recommendations on the Star Lake - Bisti DES: 

ll. The cultural and paleonotoloUl resources of * ^/^coa l"if ^ 
hv anv other area in the united States and if all of the coal is 
b dLe7ope^in thTarea a major loss of pledge ^^^ ^\^ 
We feel that it would be in the best interests of mankind it a good 
paleontological sect ion could be set aside to be preserved in its 
natural state as a paleonotological preserve or a National or state 
park or monument. The area should be large enough to P™£^ f°°° 
representation of fossil types in the area and cover all »*»»* erous 
formations. The best areas should be preserved and the se lotion 
should be made now before the area is too chopped up with c°al ^ases 
and developement. Any site(s) elected should be considered^ for its 
scenic beauty, cultural resources and wilderness qualities as well. 

Major cultural resources not already included in Chaco Canyon National 
Monument should be added to the monument. 

2 The impact of the SLR on the Pueblo Pintado site should be- discussed 
•' Sre Slly 2 it is probably the most significant cultural site to be 
impacted by the proposed actions. The proposed alignment of the SLR 
l^s within a half mile of Pueblo Pintado and consideration should be 
made to locate the railroad further from the site. 



19-J 



I 



19-K 



19-L 



19-M 



3. If the area is to be extensively developed for its coal resources and 
large amounts of coal are to be shipped elsewhere, shipment by rail is 
the most desirable both in terms of economics and the environment. The 
proposed alignment of the SLR seems best except possibly near Pueblo 
Pintado, 

4. To lessen the impact of construction of the SLR, revegetation should 
be considered for road cuts, barrow pits and other disturbed areas. 
Revegetation would reduce runoff and sediment transport and increase 
aesthetics and habitat values. 

5. The impact of construction of the FCL transmission line can be reduced 
considerably by using good construction techniques. The impact on 
vegetation, soils and hence air quality, surface water, aesthetics and 
wildlife can be greatly reduced by: 

a. Use of low load bearing vehicles during all phases of construction 
and maintenance. 

b. Not constructing an access road except where absolutely necessary 
because of terrain or dense, tall vegetation (such as pinon- juniper). 
It should not be necessary to grade a road in open grassland 
which covers much of the proposed route. 

c. Not clearing and grading a tower assembly area in open grassland 
and barren areas. These areas are for the most part open and 
flat enough to allow assembly and setting of a tower. 

The above would greatly reduce cleanup costs particularly revegetation 
costs and may reduce construction costs since the amount of grading 
would be greatly reduced. 

Good surveys to locate cultural and fossil sites and avoidance during 
construction should almost eliminate any loss by construction of the 
Fa transmission line except by vandalism. This can be done by: 

a. Placement of towers such that they do not impact a cultural or 
fossil site. That is, towers can be placed such that the trans- 
mission line "hops over" any cultural or fossil site. 

b. Flagging of cultural and fossil sites so that vehicles could 
avoid such sites. The flagging should be removed as construction 
is completed to reduce vandalism. 

6. Consideration should be made to align the FCL transmission line 

adjacent to the SLR right-of-way which would lessen impacts somewhat 
and make developement of two access roads unnecessary. 



DES. 



Thank you for the opportunity of commenting on the Star Lake - Bisti 



Sincerely yours , 
David E. Lange 



Kesponses to Comments from 
the Central New Mexico Audubon Society 

19-A. Mitigating measures are included in Regional Chapter III, 
Planning and Environmental Controls. 

19-B. Refer to the response to comment number 12-A. 

19-C. Regional impacts on ground water reserves as a result of 
coal and coal-related activities will be small when 
compared to those due to uranium mining, which are being 
assessed by 8IA. Refer to Chapters I (Other Major 
Developments in the ES Region) and IV (Ground Water) for 
information on this assessment. 

19-D. The text has been revised throughout to reflect the 
current status of the wilderness inventory. 

19-E. It is impossible at this time to evaluate the effects of 
electro-magnetic radiation on wildlife due to the spotty 
and highly conjectural nature of research in this broad 
field. Some effects, such as destruction of bone material 
and production of tumors, have been achieved under extreme 
conditions produced in the laboratory which are not 
typical of natural conditions. 

The lower frequency electro-magnetic radiation is not 
detrimental to vegetation. In fact, that portion in the 
frequencies of visible light is necessary for plant 
growth. Higher frequency electro-magnetic radiation 
(X-rays and gamma rays) have been shown to Injure 






Responses to Comments from 
the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, Continued 

sensitive plants, but at much higher dosage levels than 
would be found within the E5 Region (Treshow, 1970). 

19-F. Mure detailed raap3 of the region showing precise locations 
of the proposed actions are available for examination In 
the Albuquerque District Office of the BLM. The official 
record of Federal land ownership Is also maintained by the 
BLM on master title plats, which can be Inspected by 
members of the public at the BLM offices in Albuquerque, 
Farmlngton, and Santa Fe. 

For the region covered in this ES, over 200 individual 
plats would have been necessary. Size reduction of these 
plats would have drastically lessened their accuracy, but 
their inclusion at original size would have been most 
impractical, a3 their scale Is 1,980 feet to the Inch (one 
township, 36 square miles, to the page). 

19-G. The figure for right-of-way requirements for the SLR 
should be 2139. & acres, and has been corrected in the text. 

The figures mentioned In Chapter III refer to two 
different groups of workers. The first paragraph In tlw 
Demographic features section discusses only the employees 
of the SLH who are laying the rail line itself, while the 
second paragraph refers to persons employed by contractors 
who are erii',a^ed in other aspects of labor associated with 



Responses to Comments from 
the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, Continued 

the railroad, i.e., bridges, culverts, fencing, and 
grading. 

19-H. The table has been revised. 

19-1 & -L. Your comments are noted. 

19-J. The impact of the SLR on Pueblo Pintado Is discussed In 
Chapter III of the SLH analysis; however, your concern Is 
noted. 

19-K. Stipulations for revegetation would be followed as 
outlined in the section of Chapter IV (Regional) on 
mitigation required by law. 

19-M. Refer to the response to comment number 15-D. 



20 




United Stales Department of the Interior 

NATIONAL PARK SKRVK I. 

Mil T1WK.ST RK.HIN 

P.O. Bm T1H 

Sinla I < . New McSKli HT'illl 

L7619(SWR)PE QEQ 4^g7g 



IS HKHLY Htf LH TO 



Memorandum 

To: 

From: 



On the contrary, the Bureau of Indian Affairs with the technical 
assistance of the National Park Service and in consultation with 
the New Mexico Historic Preservation Officer and the Advisory 
Council on Historic Preservation, has required the identification 
of cultural resources and mitigation for any adverse impacts to 
significant resources on Navajo Tribal lands within the above 
mentioned project areas prior to the initiation of any earth 
modifying activities in accordance with procedures set forth in 
36 CFR 800. Such information should be included in the final 
environmental statement. 



District Manager, Bureau of Land Management, Albuquerque, New Mexico 
Associate- Regional Director, Planning and Cultural Resources, SNR 



20-D 






Subject: Review of BLM draft environmental statement, Star Lake-Bisti 
Regional Coal, McKinley and San Juan Counties, New Mexico 
(DES-78/41) Due: December 4, 1978 

Regional Analysis 

Page 11-69, Map 11-14, MAJOR HIGHWAYS IN THE ES REGION: 

The illustrated major highway proceeding west from Chaco Canyon 
20-A National Monument is really an unmaintained single-track, 

truck road. The road should be deleted from Map 11-14, even 
though the road does appear on New Mexico highway maps. 

State Road S7 which crosses Chaco Canyon National Monument is a 
graded, dirt road and should be shown as a deficient segment on 
Map 11-14. 

Page 11-78 to 85, CULTURAL RESOURCES: 

20-B This section should contain a summary of the descriptive information 
synthesizing the number, type and distribution of the region's 
cultural resources as found in Magers et . al., 1978 and Huse et. al., 

Page 11-115, Other Resources, paragraph 3: 

The statement that, *'. . .archeological and historic resources are 
JO-r being impacted by agricultural development (principally the Navajo 
Indian Irrigation Project) in the northern section of the study 
area, uranium development in the southern part of the region..." 
is incomplete and misleading leaving the impression that no 
action is being taken to mitigate the effects of agricultural 
or uranium developments. 



20-E 



20-F 



1978. 



?e IV-7, Resultant Regional Air Quality, 
IV- 18, first paragraph: 



last paragraph, and page 



20-G 



Chaco Canyon National Monument and the satellite Monument sections 
are designated Class II "floor" areas, as described in the Clean 
Air Act amendments of August 1977 (Section 164) . The process of 
redesignation of Chaco Canyon National Monument to Class I, 
currently underway, is also described in Section 164 of the Act. 

Pages IV-40 and IV-41: 

It would be helpful if Table IV-19 would provide the total number 
of cultural sites impacted, not just those to be impacted through 
1990. As an example, from the table the Star Lake Mine estimates 
for 1990 are 60-90 sites. However, on the following page, the 
survey for the Star Lake Mine indicates 246 sites would be destroyed 
by strip mining activity. The table seems to depreciate the very 
real and extensive impact that developments will cause. 

Page IV-41, Pittsburg and Midway McKinley Mine: 

Of the 297 sites identified, the Museum of New Mexico (cf. Koczan, 1977) 
reported on 25 and the remaining 272 were reported by Goddard. The 
reference is: 

Koczan, Steven 

1977 a cultural resource inventory of 2 1/2 sections of 
land near Tse Bonita School, New Mexico. Museum of New 
Mexico, Santa Fe. 

Page VIII-4, Table VIII-6: 

This table of comparison of impacts on cultural resources is misleading. 
There is the implication that 417-508 sites would be impacted under the 
no-action alternative. No action refers to not building the railroad/ 
power line. How can this many sites be impacted by the no-action alter- 
native? Then, with full development, as few as 154 additional archeological 



20-H 



20-1 



X 



20-J 



20-K 



sites would be impacted ms cuuiparcd lu no-ac I lUlt . Thus, II 

could be assumed that the difference between const ruci ing and 

not constructing Is only 154. silos impacted, and this is specious. 

Sue Specific Analysis : 

Page SLR II-]], Site No. 51: 

The origin*) survey report (VTN-21) documented tins site 20 feel 
outside the right-of-way, Hefer to: 

Jackson, t . A. 

1977 Summary of the Cultural and Paleoniolugical 
Resource Invest igat ion conducted un bureau 
of Indian Affairs Lands for the Proposed Star 
Lake Railroad Spur Line. Mckinley and San Juan 
Counties, New Mexico. Prepared by VTN 
Consolidated inc., Irvine. 

Page SLR 11-14 and IS; 

Sue Nos. ott. U'J. 90a and 90b were recommended by the National 
Park Service with the concurrence of the New Mexico Historic 
Preservation Olticer for limited testing to determine significance. 
Conplelion of testing and ethnographic/cthnohistonc documentation 
of these sites by New Mexico State University has revealed no 
subsurface evidence of significant prehistoric or historic remains. 
Consequently, archeologlcal clearance has been recommended . 

Page SLR 111 - 12. CULTURAL RLSOURCtS. paragraph 2: 

Sue No. SI will not be directly impacted since the right -of -way 
has been relocated to avoid the site, as documented above. Alsu, 
through a program of subsurface testing and el huograpluc/L ihnu- 
historic testing at Site Nus. bb, 89, 90a and 90b by New Mexico 
State University, all data likely to yield information important 
to prehistory or history have been recovered. 

Page SLR IV - 4, Cultural Resources: 

The proposed actions to retrieve data at Site Nus. (it), b'J, U0.i and 
90b have been completed by New Mexico Stale University and the results 
accepted by the National Park Service and the New Mexico Historic 
Preservation Officer. 



20-M 



Appendix A, Map II: 

20-1 A 1 1 of Chaco Canyon National Monument shuuld be included as 

Class A (an area with a high Capability lur a quality, special- 
interest recreational experience). Recreation activities would 
Include sight - seeing , scenery, and sight - seeing , archeologlcal. 

Appendix II, C. 1), page 1-127: 

The Slate Historic Preservation Officer should be consulted as 
to additional sites eligible or in the process of nomination 
to the National Register of Histuric Places. Any additional 
sites should be included in the final statement. 

If the proposed action is taken along with other San Juan basin energy 
related projects, (here will be incremental impacts, both direct and 
indirect, to the extensive historical and pre-historical resources that 
relate to Chaco Canyon National Munuuieui and represent such an important 
part of the Chacoan story, bxtcnsive mitigative measures will be required 
to preserve, retrieve and interpret these important resources, many of 
which have just recently been identified through remote tensing techniques. 



*S .A^- 



liesponses to Comments from 
the National Park Service 

<?0-A. Map 11-11 has been revised. 

20-u. See the revised text In Chapter II. The literature search 
was not received In time for inclusion in Uil3 E5. The 
text now includes a brief summary of information from the 
field Inventory, however. 

20-C. The text has been revised. This statement was not meant 
to imply that impacts are not being mitigated according to 
protective legislation. However, cultural resources 
continue to suffer, both on public and Indian lands, where 
mitigation cannot alleviate damage completely, and on 
private lands, which are not under Federal jurisdiction. 



l 



Responses to Comments from 
the National Park Service, Continued 

20-D. The comnent is correct. An evaluation has been made of 
the Class I assumption of PSD increments that would occur 
if Chaco Canyon National Monument was redesignated to 
Class 1 . 

20-L. Refer to the response to comnent number 12-A. 

20-F. The text has been revised and the reference added to the 
list (Appendix D>. 

20-G. The no-action alternative states only that the proposed 
actions of the ES would not be built (Star Lake Railroad 
and Kruitland Coal Load Transmission Line) , and the coal 
mines dependent on than may not proceed. Coal mining 
would still impact cultural resources under the no-action 
alternative, because existing mines Independent on the 
proposed actions would continue to operate, and new mines 
and other Industrial facilities would be constructed on 
private and State lands, as described in Chapter VIII. 

20-H. Discrepancy occurs in reports of the location of site no. 
51. A table of "locations of cultural resources along the 
Star Lake Railroad Spur Line" does indeed list site no. 51 
as twenty feet outside the right-of-way. Text of the 
original report (Bussey, et al., 1976, p. I and 2), 
fiowever, states that the line will directly and adversely 
Impact the site. Current railroad map3 prepared by VTN 
show the original right-of-way to cut across the northeast 
corner of the site. The twenty-foot distance listed in 



Responses to Comments from 
the Natiunal Park Service, Continued 

the aforementioned table was probably measured from the 
railroad centerline to a point inside the site, rather 
than a point on its periphery. BLM archaeologists feel 
that the original right-of-way would adversely affect site 
no. 51. 

20-1. See revised text in Chapter II of the SLR analysis. 
Mitigative actions were taken after the deadline for text 
submission of the Draft L'S. Thank you for the update. 

20-J. Impacts and mitigation are described in separate chapters; 
refer to Chapter IV for mitigation as mentioned in your 
comment. 

20-K. The text (Chapter IV) has been revised. 

20-L. The recreation classification wa3 based on BLM Unit 
Kesource Analysis information for the planning system, as 
prepared in W«. Chaco Canyon National Monument is an 
area with high capability for a quality special-interest 
recreational experience. 

20-M. Hefer to the revised text in Chapter II, and the evidence 
or consultation with the State lilstorlo Preservation 
Officer included in Appendix fi. 




United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS 

Navajo Area Office 
Window Rock, Arizona 86515 



IN REPLY KEKKK Til 

Environmental Quality 



OFC -4 1878 



2 1-D 



Memorandum 



Director, Bureau of Land Management, Albuquerque 
New Mexico B7107 



X 
to 



21-A 



21-B 



2 1-C 



To: 



itant 
From: Area Director 

Sabject: EIS Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal 

We wish to submit the following comments on your Star Lake-Bisti 
Regional Coal EIS: 

Volu me I 

Gener al 

We feel that the Indian lands within the EIS area (as shown on Map 1-1 
should be included in the description of the existing environment. 
These lands have been largely ignored throughout the EIS. Yet since 
the proposed railroad, transmission line, and related coal develop- 
ment all involve varying amounts of Indian lands, they will each entai 
Federal actions by BIA and should be addressed in the EIS for thos ■ 
proposed projects. 

P. Ill - 2 Federal Lessee Protection 

The inventory of surface improvements owned by lessees of Federal 
lands should be expanded to include the surface improvements on 
Indian lands beneath which the Federal coal will be mined. 

P. Ill -2 and III - 3 Federal Reg ulatory and Manag ing Agen cies 

This section describes the role of BLM, OSM, USGS and the State 
Surfacemining Commission but it does not acknowledge the role of 
the BIA. A description of BIA's involvement as trustee for the 
Indian trust lands in the project area should be included. 







21-E 



21-F 



21-G 



21-H 



21-1 



P I - 15 Con Paso R ailroad 

This section should be corrected to state that both the north and the 
south ends of this railroad are within the ES region as shown on the 
map on page 1-12. 

In lines 16 and 17 of this section the statement is made that BIA will 
do an ES for the una68essed portion of the Con Paso railroad. Ac- 
tually, it has not been determined that an ES (Environmental State- 
ment) will be prepared. At the present time it can only be said that 
the environmental review for the Federal actions associated with the 
railroad will be performed by BIA. 

P I - 18 A griculture Development 

Instead of stating that 330, 000 acre feet of water has been set aside 
for the N1IP project, it would be more accurate to say that 508, 000 
acre feet of water has been authorized by legislation for the project. 

P 11-65 Land Use 

A map (or maps) showing surface and mineral ownership should be 
included or referenced in this section. 

P III-3 OSM 

An additional duty of OSM is described in 25 CFR 171. 113(h)i where 
it states "With respect to coal leases issued on Indian lands after 
August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall enforce terms and conditions in 
addition to those required by this subpart, as may be requested by 
the Indian Tribe in such leases. " 

Alternatives 

P V1II-36 Regional Transport ation A lternatives Ties to Santa Fe 
Main Line 

Con Paso Routes - 3rd Paragraph 



Wording to the effect that the BIA will prepare and EIS for the Con 
Paso R. R. should be changed to indicate BIA will conduct the 
environmental review necessary to comply with NEPA. 



mm 



21-J 



21-K 



X 

to 



2 1-1 



21-M 



21-N 



P III-l, Chapter HI, Planning and Environmental C ontrols 

In both the section for Legal and Regulatory Framework for Resource 
Development and the section for Legal and Regulatory Framework for 
Environmental Protection the BIA actions needed to grant rights-of- 
way across Indian lands should be outlined. These procedures can 
be found in 25 CFR 161. 

P IV-1, Chapter IV Envi ron mental I mpa cts 

The cumulative impacts that surround developments such as the 
uranium mines, the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project, the proposed 
WESCO and El Paso Coal Gasification Plants and the existing and 
proposed coal mines on the Navajo Reservation will have on the ES 
area seem to have been overlooked. 

P IV-58 Indian Residents 

This section Bhould be expanded to include an analysis of any conflicts 
between the religious beliefs of the Indians in the area and the pro- 
posed developments as required by P. L. 95-341 (American Indian 
Religious Freedom). 

Volume I I. SLR 

P SLR 1-1 Related Reviews and App rovals 

This section should state that BIA actions will consist of the granting 
of rights-of-way across 906. 2 acres of PLO 2148, Navajo Tribal 
Trust and Indian allotted lands. Our records indicate that this will 
Include approximately 66 allottments, 32 parcels of Tribal lands and 
35 parcels of public lands. We suggest the data be expanded to in- 
clude a listing (in tabular form) showing each such tract iden'.ification 
and the acres of R/W within each tra^t. 

P SLR 11-28 M_ a P_SLR_ll-8 

This map should be refined to give an indication of the Individual 
Indian Allottments to be listed as p.-r our recommendation for 
P SLR 1-1 Related Reviews and Approvals, li would also be extremely 
helpful if tKe text dYstingurshed betwi^Ti l~n.Jivid.ril Allottments and 
BLM Grazing Allottments. 



21-0 



2 1-P 



21-Q 



PSLR III- 14 Table S LR III-9 

Grazing allottment 54 (Navajo Tribe Casamero Lake Community) 
should be included in this table. 

P SLR 11-19 Re creat ion 

It would be appropriate to refer specifically to the proposals that 
have been made to establish a geologica and/or paleontological park in 
the Bisti Badlands. 

V olum e II FCL 

Chapter 1 - Desc ripti on of the Proposal Authorizing Actio ns. . . 
Ass u mptions P F l-1 

In line 6 of the first paragraph of this section, the word "trust" 
should be added between "Indian" and "land". 

Pro posed Actions P FI-1 

In the second line of the second paragraph the words "and Indian 
trust" should be inserted between the words "public" and "lands". 
The statement would then encompass all anticipated federal actions. 

Enclosed is a copy of the comments submitted to this office by our 
Crownpoint Agency. These were not received in time for consoli- 
dation in our Area Office comments. 



^^./d. ~yc~\ 



Enclosures 




United States Department of the Interior 



IN RfPLY 8SFKRTO: 

4200-Educatlon 
EDP-5 



BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS 

Navajo Area 

Eastern Navajo Agency 

P.O. Box 328 

Crownpolnt, New Mexico 87313 

"Gateway to Chaco Canyon" 



X 

k 



21-R 



NOV 2 8 



Wa 



Memorandum 
To : 

From 
Subject 



Area Director, Navajo Area Office 
Window Rock, Arizona 

Superintendent, Eastern Navajo Agency 

Agency comments on draft EIS Star Lake - Blstl 
Regional Coal 



21-S 



General Comments: 

The comments dated August 26, 1977, from Eastern Navajo Agency 
on the Star Lake railroad end coal developments remain for the 
most part unanswered. 

This EIS draft prepared for the Star Lake railroad and coal 
mine and the earlier EIS draft do not Inter-relate the local 
Impactsywtth each draft showing differences In base line data 
for the some area of consideration. 

Inclusion of Local Passenger and Commodity transport Service : 

It Is highly recommended that consideration be given to planning 
for local passenger and commodity transport service on the 
rail line In accordance with the expressed wishes of the people 
at the public hearing. Transportation for these people and 
the hauling of supplies and livestock Is extremely difficult 
with the lack of paved roads serving this area. 

REGIONAL ANALYSIS 



Thoroughfares: 



Page SLR 11-30 takes Into consideration thoroughfares crossed. 
In order to have adequate warning devices at these points 
(signals, lights and gates), extensive electrical facilities 
must be provided. This electrical supply will probably be 
tapped from the high voltage transmission line that Is proposed 
as Indicated on Map A In Appendix A. These electrical controls 
must be provided for the safety of the traveling public. 



21-T 



Map A, Included with the E.I.S., shows the proposed rail route. 
From Prewltt, It crosses N34 twice, N9 at Pueblo Pintado, N57, 
and State Road 371. The only paved roadway crossed Is N9. Table 
SLR 1-3, page SLR 1-5, lists Mile Post/Road Type/Crossrrig Type/ 
Structure Type. Scaling from Map A (l/B Inch equals approximately 
I mile), the Intersection at Pueblo Pintado lies at about mile 
60-62. From the aforementioned table, this puts a grade separation 
at Pueblo Pintado. The grade separation at Pueblo Pintado as 
well as the other major thoroughfares must be assured for the 
safety of the traveling public. Additional Information must be 
provided to pinpoint all crossings for an adequate appraisal 
of this segement the Environmental Impact Statement. 

It Is recommended that livestock passes beneath the railroad 

be provided. This will decrease the loss of grazing area presented 

by the proposed railroad construction. 

Water : 

Regional Analysis, pages 11-46 through 48, Indicates that 
"future surface-water developments must be accompanied by an 
adjustment of existing appropriation. . ." and "future ground- 
water development Is subject to approval of the Office of the 
State Engineer, State of New Mexico, under the rules and 
regulations of the declaration of a ground-water basin." 

According to Regional Analysis, page V-3, "60,000 acre-feet 
would result from the proposed action and related developments." 
They go on to state that the "effects of this pumping would 
be noticeable at least as tar as 20 miles (radius) from the 
pumping center." It would seam that this water usage will put 
an undue strain on the water supply of the communities along 
the way. (Namely, Casamero Lake, Borrego Pass, Whltehorse, 
Pueblo Pintado, Lake Valley, et al). In the lease agreement, 
the Applicant must be made aware that If the water level drops 
due to his operations, he Is responsible for providing water 
to the affected Individuals and communities. 

P. 11-89, column 2, para 3 

Crownpolnt Boarding School houses approximately 500 students, 
not 2200; staff Is year-round, not school year; Thoreau Boarding 
School houses 120 students, not 1500. 

P. 11-97, column 2, line 3 

Total BIA enrollment within Eastern Navajo Agency Is less than 
5000; boarding enrollment Is about 3000-3500. 



21-U 



21-V 



X 

crs 
5i 



21-W 



P. IV-20, column I, para I 

Who will develop new wells? 

P. IV-20, column 2, Water quality - what steps will be taken 
to prevent contamination of water systems and stock ponds? 
dissolved solids concentrations? saline contamination? 

Surface Water (Paoe IV-20): 



W III the destruction of surface channels durlno coal mlnlno 
significantly alter the grazlng-use patterns of the affected 
area? Approximately how much surface water will subsequently 
be depeleted from existing livestock reservlors? If grazing 
use patterns are significantly changed during mining, will the 
reclamation restore the original grazing use patterns or continue 
with altered patterns? 

Socioeconomic Impact (Page IV-42) 

Increase In Demand for Social Services 

The Impacts upon Social Service agencies within the Area need 
to be deal* with as a separate topic. The agencies concerned 
are the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Human Services Department 
of New Mexico, and Tribal programs, such as B I -state Social 
Services and Tribal Assistance and Projects Prooram, and others. 
Estimates as to the percentage of the population that the agencies 
serve could be secured from the appropriate agencies. 

Within the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Branch of Social Services 
alone. It can be projected that by 1990 there would be a need ' 
for two additional social workers to take care of the following 
service needs: abused and neglected children, family break- 
down, handicapped persons, evaluations for the Court, coordination 
of services with other agencies, and general assistance. This 
calculation was based upon on Eastern Navajo population of 
January I, 1977, of 33,364, a current caseload of 1,512, with 
?v/ P ?£ U, f Mon lncre85e ° f '•#. os shown In Table IV-34, paoe 
IV-60, In the Regional Statement. The case Increase under current 
conditions would be twenty-nine (29) requiring the addition 
of one social service worker; however, a moderate estimate 
with this type of Industrial development, would bring a doubling 
of social problems so that a caseload of approximately fifty- 
eight (5B) can be anticipated with the need for two additional 
social service positions by 1990. Some estimates In the-Soclal 
Service field run as a tripling of the caseload. The great 



Increase In the need for social services as a result of such 
a development as this cannot be over-emphasized because" of the 
following critical changes that will occur In the lives of the 
people. The transient Indian population that will come Into 
the area to take Jobs, both those that will secure employment 
and those who will not, will tend to have an unstable life- 
style. Increasing the amount of child abuse, child neglect, 
alcoholism, and family breakdown. A great Increase In car 
accidents resulting In Injuries and deaths, thus leaving more 
persons financially and emotionally dependent, can be expected. 
Racial conflicts will undoubtedly result, causing some deaths 
and Injuries. 

The question of how funds will be allocated for services needs 
to be addressed. For example, currently no new positions or 
funds are being allocated for Social Services. How will these 
Increased needs be met by Federal, State, and Tribal offices 
affected? Will the taxes collected cover the needed services? 
What action can be taken to assure an equitable distribution 
of tax money7 



Unauthorized Occupancy 

With reference to the Information given here, there are from 
250 to 300 persons, both legal residents and unauthorized 
occupants, that will need to be relocated. This poses a rather 
critical problem for the families Involved: because of the 
generally low economic level of the Navajos living within 
this area, the families Involved have no resources to finance 
a move to another location, and It would appear not to be 
their responsibility to to bear such an expense. What provision 
Is being made for financing this move? Current Bureau of Indian 
Affairs funding tor such programs as Housing and Social Services 
does not cover such costs either by definition of program 
responsibility or funding. The same problem has arisen In the 
area of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project and the Joint 
Use Area: these Individuals ere not covered under the Federal 
Relocation Act. 

There Is therefore a critical need for this problem to be 
dealt with. Can the funding come from the companies who are 
to benefit from the mineral resources? A careful delineation 
of responsibility of agencies and companies Involved should 
be made. Will relocating those not covered by the Federal 
Relocation Act require an appropriation from Congress? 

It Is to be noted that there Is an overlap here of persons 



■hi 



offected by unauthorized occupancy, the coal development, and 
the Navajo Irrigation Project, which complicates even more the 
problems of the Individual families. 

This particular point Is a forceful example of the failure In 
this development to take Into account the needs of the families 
Involved, 

Socioeconomic Impact 

The mines will produce ample Jobs for skilled and semi-skilled 
Individuals. Taking local talent and training them to do some 
of the Jobs necessary In the mining activity requires a good 
deal of time for necessary proficiency. It seems that local 
Individuals will not qualify for a vast majority of the positions. 

The Influx of people will bring new prosperity to the surrounding 
communities. This prosperity will Increase the personal wealth 
and hence the cost of living. These will continue to grow. When 
the "boom" ends, the area will be transformed to a comparative 
"ghost town". I suggest the people In Blsbee, Arizona, be 
contacted to gain Insight to the problem of ceasing all mining 
operations. The Phelps-Dodge Corporation shut down operations 
In their "Lavender Pit" open pit Coppermine. The effects on 
the town's economy were devastating In the change of lifestyle. 
As another example. It took the city of Jerome, Arizona, many 
years to rise to the economic level It had prior to the ore 
playing out. Some Insight Into the socioeconomic problems may 
be gained by referring to "Thoughts on Federal Indian Policy," 
presented by Richard Schlfter before the Superintendents' 
Orientation Meeting In Ignaclo, Colorado, November 9, 1977 
(copy attached). 

These areas should be explored In greater detail and Included 
In the Environmental Impact Statement. Including these Items 
could eliminate some long-range hardships on the people of 
the area surrounding the mining operation and allow a long- 
range planning base. 

In the final analysis. It seems as though the Applicant must 
project beyond the year 2,000 to the end of operations In his 
Environmental Impact Statement. An arbitrary date should be 
selected for the ore to play out. He then should state In 
detail what he proposes for the welfare of the Individual left 
In the dust of the retreating contractor. Granted, the American- 
Indians have only surface rights. However, In breaking the 



soil, much culture and heritage are sure to be destroyed. Some- 
thing of value must be done to prevent these devastating after 
effects. 

SITE SPECIAL ANALYSIS 



21-X 



Land Division : 

The proposed action Is the construction and operation of a 
full scale railroad. In the Site Specific Analysis, page SLR 
1-2, the total right-of-way requirements are given as only 
2,854 acres. It falls to mention one Important factor: In 
spite of the crossings provided (at grade as well as grade 
separation) the area will be divided Into two separate pieces. 
This must be considered In evaluating the affect of the rail- 
road on livestock grazing In the area. 

Empjoyment : 

The bringing of the 36-38 Jobs of a permanent nature In 1985 
after the completion of the railroad should be of some economic 
benefit to the people of the region. From a practical point of 
view. It can be estimated that approximately one half of these 
Jobs, or roughly eighteen (18), would be filled by persons 
living In the area. Persons already working for the railroad 
and new persons moving In will likely get at least one-half 
of the Jobs. One of the major Interests of the Branch of 
Social Services Is assistance to low-Income families who cannot 
find work and must live on General Assistance; a reasonable 
estimate would be that approximately four (4) families might 
be removed from the General Assistance program as a result 
of employment with the railroad on a permanent basis. 

As for the construction period of 1980, with an estimated 
peak number of jobs of three hundred and ten (310), It Is 
estimated that General Assistance recipients (most of shorn 
are over thirty years of age, uneducated, and untrained) might 
secure ten percent of these Jobs, or thirty-one (3D, lasting 
something over a year. Many new people would move Into the 
area to get these jobs which would come to an end In 1980. 
A portion of these newcomers, possibly one third, or ten (10), 
would likely find other Jobs. The result could therefore be 
a temporary Increase In General Assistance to handle these 
construction workers after they are terminated. 



kuo^ 



4CTVO Superintend 




I 

-J 



Responses to Comments from 

the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Navajo Area Office 

and Eastern Navajo Agency 

21-A. Refer to the response to comment numbers 12-B and 19-F. 

21-B. The text has been revised. 

21-C. Chapter III has been expanded. 

21-D, -E, and -F. These sections of Chapter I have been revised. 

21-G. Refer to the response to comment number 19-F. 

21-H. This material has been added to the text. 

21-1 and -J. The text has been revised. 

21-K. Numerous developments occurring or proposed in and 
surrounding the ES Region would require separate 
environmental assessments, some of which have been 
completed and are referenced in this ES. Others, 
including the BIA uranium study discussed in Chapter I , 
are currently being prepared. Because of the various 
stages of development and the dynamic aspect of these 
projects, the emphasis in the cumulative impact assessment 
of this ES was placed largely on coal-related activities. 
Refer to the response to comment number 12-B. 

21-L. Reference to P.L. 95-311 has been added to the section 
mentioned. 

21-M. The agencies responsible for the management of the various 



Responses to Comments from 

the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Navajo Area Office 

and Eastern Navajo Agency, Continued 

types of land crossed by the railroad have all been 
furnished with the suggested listing by the Star Lake 
Railroad Company. Additionally, all surface owners who 
would be affected by the proposal have been contacted by 
the company. This listing was judged to be too lengthy 
for inclusion in the ES and can be examined in the 
Albuquerque District Office of the BLM, or the BIA offices 
in Window Rock, Arizona and Crownpoint, New Mexico. 

21-N. Individual Indian Allotments, approximately 160 acres in 
size and of variable configuration, cannot be shown 
clearly on a map of this scale. Maps submitted by the 
company, drawn at a 1:21,000 scale and showing the surface 
ownership affected by the proposed railroad, are available 
for examination at the Albuquerque District Office of the 
BLM. 

21-0. Grazing allotment 51 (Navajo Tribe - Casamero Lake 
Community) would not be affected by the proposed action, 
but would be impacted in the West Route alternative as 
indicated in Table SLR VIII-1 of the site-specific 
analysis. 

21 -P and-Q. The text has been revised. 

21-R. The Star Lake Railroad Company has indicated, both in 



X 



Responses to Comments from 

the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Navajo Area Office 

and Eastern Navajo Agency, Continued 

public hearings and in written comments on this ES, that 
it has full intentions of constructing the line as a 
common carrier. The text has been revised to note this 
fact. 

21-S. The impact described would be mitigated by placing 

underpasses at locations agreed to by the ranchers 

affected, as described in Chapter IV (Mitigation) of the 
SLR analysis. 

21-T. The text has been revised. 

21-U. The mine operator will develop new wells if necessary, as 
provided in 30 CFR 715.17U). The operator must include 
plans for protecting water wells and ground water in his 
mining and reclamation plan (30 CFR 21 1 .10(6)(xiv)) . 

Measures for protecting water quality are discussed in 30 
CFR 715.17(a). Mine operators must meet these standards. 

21-V. Sections 515(b)(2) and (3) of the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977 require that the land be 
restored to the approximate original contour and to a 
condition capable of supporting the uses it supported 
prior to any mining. This should assure that the original 
grazing patterns can be used. 



Responses to Comments from 

the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Navajo Area Office 

and Eastern Navajo Agency, Continued 

21 -W. Refer to the response to comment number 2-D. The increase 
in social problems was discussed in Chapter V. Each 
community will require separate planning for means to deal 
with these problems. As with other services and 
facilities financed through taxes, the increase in demand 
will probably precede the increase in taxes for financing 
adequate programs. 

21 -X. Refer to the response to comment S above. 



■ -- -•■■'- - - 



Stale of New Mexico 

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION 



22 



State Planning Division 
505 Don Caspar Avenue 




Coordination Bureau (505) 827-2073 
Planning Bureau (505)827 5191 



en 



Santa Fe, New Mexico 87503 
December 5, 1978 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
Department of the Interior 
Bureau of Land Management 
P. 0. Box 67/U 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87197 

Dear Mr. Applegate: 

RE: Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal Draft Environmental Statement 

We have received copies of the above-named environmental statement 
for review. We have distributed copies to the Environmental Improve- 
ment Division, the Department of Natural Resources, the Energy and 
Minerals Department, the Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, the 
State Land Office, the State Highway Department, and the State Historic 
Preservation Officer. Comments are attached from the State Engineer 
and the Environmental Improvement Division. Apparently, comments from 
the Department of Energy and Minerals, the Bureau of Mines and Mineral 
Resources, and the State Historic Preservation Officer have been sent 
to you under separate cover. 

We feel that this environmental- statement is well-written and very 
detailed. The maps and graphs were legible and contributed greatly 
to our understanding of the statement. 

Comnentinci upon the environmental impact of the railroad and trans- 
mission line is difficult, since the bulk of the impact in the E. S. 
Region will be from other projects. However, we feel that the steps 
of mitigation outlined in the statement are thorough, and we support 
these projects. 

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on this environ- 
mental statement. 

Sincerely, 

|CcU U)rcU 4 

Kate Wickes 
Planning Bureau 

KW:ja 
Enclosures 




ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROV EMENT DIVISION 

STAT5 OF NEW MEXICO 

P BOX 968 
SANTA FE. NEW MEXICO B7503 



MEMORANDUM 



Jorry Apodaco 
GOVERNOR 



DATE: November 28, 197 5 



TO: Charles Karquez 

FROM: Warren Slade, Air Quality Section 

SUBJECT: Star Lake - Bistl Regional Coal: Draft Environmental Statement 



I have reviewed the Draft ES submitted by BLM. Generally the most serious air 
quality impact will be due to increased levels of suspended particulates in the 
ES region, and the increased level of SOj in and around Chaco Canyon National 
>i>nunent as a result of the New Mexico Generating Station. If Chaco Canyon is 
redesignated a Class I area, the allowable PSD increments ior TSP and SO, could 
be exceeded. 

A. Annual TSP Concentration: 

1. The annual average TSP concentration values calculated by Radian Corpora- 
tion, for the cities of Farmington and Gallup following development, are much 
lower than the known annual concentrations based on current monitoring data. 
Radian's values of 60 ug/m 3 for Farmington and 35 ug/m 3 for Gallup compared 
to our monitoring station data for Farmington of 79-137 ug/m* and for Gallup 
of 142-153 ug/m , vould indicate that modeling study has seriously under- 
estimated the TSP ixpact on these cities and therefore probably over Che 
r -?--- — ee^raJl. It is a reasonable assumption that TSP levels, as a result 
- 1 -— "rrrcsec =zricn, will increase rather than show a significant decrease. 



22-A 



22-B 



22-C 



22-D 



22-E 



2. The concriV-itiTe effects of the uranium mining and milling operations in 
the ES region should be addressed, particularly regarding TSP and visibility 
impacts. 

3. The expected size distribution of suspended particulates resulting from 
the proposed action should be addressed since particle size is of concern for 
health and visibility reasons. 

4. In reference to PSD regulations, what data support the statement on page 
IV-7, "Particulate emissions from non-exempt sources. . -are typically less 
than 15 percent of the total emission from a mine"? Are the soil types 
locaced in the study area typical of the soil types from which this data was 
taken? 

5. Table 3-6 in the Radian Corporation (August, 1978) addendum report indicates 
that the TSP short term concent rar i. in ^ from the Four Corners and San Juan 
Generating Stations will exceed New Mexico standards. This data should be 
addressed and the table incli. Vd in the final report. 



X 

I 

o 



ME-U TO: Charles Harquet 
November 28, 1978 
Page 2 



Visibility: 

The visibility Impact on Chaco Canyon should be assesed in the event that it 
is reclassified a Class I area. 

S0 2 : 

Table IV-7 Indicates that by 1990 the 3 hour SO2 concentration would exceed 
the allowable Class I area Increment. In the event that Chaco Canyon is 



22-r D - 



22-G 



22-H 



allowable Unit is unacceptable. 

Tables B-9 through B-ll should be updated to reflect the NEDS summary data of 
April 17, 1978 and July 12, 1978. 

Map 11-9: 

Shouldn't the legend read "Line of Equal Snow Fall"? 

The ejrpecced uncontrolled emissions of heavy metals and radionuclides 
resulting froa power generation and the contributory emissions from uranium 
mining and milling should be addressed. 



Responses to Comments from 

the Environmental Improvement Division, 

Department of Health and Environment, State of New Mexico 

22-A. The rural background level of TSP was used in the modeling 
to predict average annual TSP concentrations. TSP 
concentrations at specific points within cities would 
exceed the concentrations predicted. 

22-B. The Bureau of Indian Affairs la the lead agency for a 
study on uranium that Is currently being conducted. This 
study, scheduled to be completed In September, 1979, will 
Include the Star Lake-Blstl ES Region. Until results of 
this study are published, there are no comprehensive data 
on uranium mining and milling available. 



Responses to Comments from 
the Environmental Improvement Division, 
Department of Health and Environment, State of New Mexico, Continued 

22-C. The general range of particulates formed by the combustion 
of coal is from 0.01 micrometers (urn) to 100 um. The 
collection efficiency of emission control equipment Is 
greater for larger particles than for smaller particles 
(Lee, et al. , 1975). Thus, nearly all the particulate 
emissions from the coal-fired generating stations would be 
less than 20 um, with about half of these less than 2 um 
(Schultz, et al.. 1975). Table IV-1 shows the estimated 
emissions of particulates from generating stations in the 
ES Kegion. Particulate emissions from mines would ranfte 
from 2 um to 200 um. Over half of these particles would 
be larger than "30 tan, and would drop out in a relatively 
short distance downwind from the source. 

22-D. The value of less than 15 percent was determined by 
average emission from various activities over a range of 
soil types. Soil types in the study area would, for the 
most part, be within this range. 

22-E. This information has been added to the ES. 

22-F. liefer to the response to comment 2-J. 

22-G. The legend has been corrected. 

22-H. Refer to the response to comment B above. 



J2-I 



■ 
<1 



T0: Bin Hue * November 9. 1970 

From: S. E. Reynolds 

Subject: Environmental Statement - Star take - Blsti Regional Coal 

This office has reviewed the above environmental statement and offers the 
following comments. 

Page 1-10 San Juan Generating Section, line 13. The Report states: 

The water-supply contract provides for 20,200 acre- 
feet of water annually from the San Juan River. 

It Is suggested that this sentence be changed as follows: 

The water supply contract provides for a delivery of 
no more than 20,200 acre-feet annually and a maximum 
consumption of 16,200 acre-feet annually and is 
effective until December 31, 2005. A contract for 
future delivery of water after that date will be sub- 
ject to negotiation If such negotiation Is authorized 
by law. 

1 am not aware of any basis for the parenthetical statement relative to 
the "aquatic system" protection. 

Page 1-15 Coal Gasification, first paragraph. It should be noted that 
the El Paso Natural Gas Company proposal as described on page 1-18 
of FES 77-03 (Bureau of Reclamation, 1977) has been reduced in 
size to gas production of 410 million cubic feet per day and a 
consumptive use of 15,000 acre-fee" of water annually. 

Page 1-18 Surface-Hi-'er Development, second paragraph, first sentence. 
The Gallup-f.'avajo Hater-Supply Project as presently planned by the 
Bureau of Reclamation would require a delivery of 38,500 acre-feet 
by the year 2025 rather than the 48,000 cited in the report. 

Page 1-18 Surfr :e-Uater Development, third paragraph, second sentence. 
It 1s suggested that this sentence be replaced with the following: 

The surface-water resources of the San Juan Basin 
are fully appropriated and are now committed to 
existing uses and authorized projects or are com- 
mitted tentatively to projects under investigation. 
Any additional use of surface water by coal related 



Mr. Dill lluey 
November 9, I97H 
Page 2 



developments would require acquisition and transfer 
of existing rights or modification of tentative 
commi tmei ts. 

Page 1-18 Agricultural Development, first paragraph, second sentence. 

After Navajo Reservoir strike "via the San Juan River and a canal". 
The Irrigation water is diverted directly from Navajo Reservoir 
Into a canal . 

Page 1-18 Agricultural Development, second paragraph, last sentence. It 
Is suggested that this sentence be replaced with the following: 

It has been estimated that the annual diversion 
requirement for the project is 330,000 acre-feet. 

Page 11-77 Cropland, second paragraph, last sentence. Project construction 
Is now scheduled for Fiscal Tear 1980 instead of June 1978. It Is 
suggested that figures recited In this paragraph be checked with the 
Bureau of Reclamation as it is our belief that the annual diversion 
of 152.200 acre-feet for irrigation has been reduced to 118.000 
acre-feet. 

Page 11-77 Cropland, third paragraph, second sentence. It is suggested 
that this sentence be replaced with the following: 

An estimated annual diversion requirement of 330,000 
acre-feet of water will be transported from Navajo 
Reservoir. . . 

Paae 1 1 1-6 State, first paragraph, third sentence. The State Engineer 
has jurisdiction over all of the surface waters of the state and 
subsurface water resources in declared water basins. 

Please let me know If sone further discussion of this matter would be 
helpful . 



S. F. Reynolds 
State Engineer 

SiR'es 



Response to Comments from 
the State Engineer, State of New Mexico 



<?£■-!. The suggested changes have been made In the text. 



23 



IX 

f 

to 



NATURAL GAS 
COMPANY 



P O BOX U92 

EL PASO. TEXAS 79978 

PHONE 915S432600 



Paul dpplegate 



December 1, 1978 



December 1, 1978 



United States Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 

3550 Pan American Freeway, N.E. 

P. 0. Box 6770 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 

Attention: Mr. L. Paul Applegate 
District Manager 



Re: Draft Environmental Statement 

Star Lake - Bisti Regional Coal 



Dear Sir: 



El Paso has reviewed the captioned statement and would like to make the 
following comments: 

p. 1-15, Coal Gasification 

The description of the El Paso Coal Company coal gasification 
project as given is incorrect both with respect to location 
and other factors. The following summary of the project 
should be used. 

"El Paso Coal Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The 
El Paso Company, proposes to construct and operate a 
coal gasification plant, and a surface coal mine to supply 
the plant with coal, and the necessary support facilities. 
The plant would be located on the Navajo Coal Lease jointly 
held by El Paso and Consolidation Coal Company. The coal 
lease, approximately 35 miles southwest of Farmington, is 
located just west of Bisti on the Navajo Kescrvation, as 
shown on Map B. A single gasification complex would be 
constructed in the west-central area of the lease at the 
site noted as Burnham II on Map B. No construction will 
occur at the Burnham I site shown on this map. The complex 
would be constructed in phases, with the initial plant designed 
to produce 72 MMCFD of synthetic pipeline gas (SPG) in late 19SJ. 
This complex would be expanded to a full-sized facility capa- 
ble of producing 288 MMCFT1. In later years, it could he further 
expanded to produce 410 NMCFD, Mining operations woulJ disturb 



23-A 



3,b71 acres of land for the 72 MMCFD plant over a period of 
25 years. This acreage would expand to about 15,000 acres for 
the 288 MMCFD over a 25 year period. Descriptions of the 
288 MMCFD and 410 MMCFD gasification facilities are given 
in FES 77-03 (Bureau of Reclamation, 1977) although the loca- 
tion of the complex as given in this document, is not now 
correct. A description of the Navajo Coal Lease is given in 
FES 77-13 (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1977). 

p. 1-22, Basic Analysis Assumptions 

The statement under assumption 4, "Reclamation of a specific 
area will take five years from the end of disturbance 
if irrigation is used as needed. Reclamation will not 
occur by 1990 if irrigation is not used," should either 
be supported by citing the reference from which the 
information was obtained or deleted. 

Assumption 4(e) should also be either substantiated or 
deleted. 

Such basic assumptions which are used as guidelines for 
impact analysis throughout the draft statement should be 
founded on established facts and not speculation. 

IV - 19, Table IV-7 



23-6 



23-C 



The 24-hour SO, Class I increment should be 5 micrograms 
per cubic meter instead of 8 as shown. 



p . IV- 25, Soils 

This section addresses soil impacts with a definite negative 
bias. Probable impacts are stated as if no surface coal 
mining regulations were in effect. 



23-D 



In paragraph 3, the statement "Less fertile substrate 
or toxic materials may be exposed that would be 
detrimental to reclamation efforts," is unfounded 
in light of 0SM regulations. 

In paragraphs 4 and (i , statements implying that mixing 
of soil horizons and soil disturbances during mining would 
increase bull, density and reduce soil productivity should 
he supported with references to current literature or 
l,e deleted. 



UftMA^B 



L. Paul Applegate 



December 1, 1978 



L. Paul Applegate 



-4- 



December 1, 1978 



i 

-a 

03 



p. V-2, Soils, paragraph 2 



23-E 



This paragraph states categorically, without the support 

of references, that soil productivity will decrease 

when the application of soil amendments and irrigation 

is stopped. Although the statement may be true in some cases, 

or on a short-term basis, it should be substantiated. 



p . VIII-36, Regional Transportation Alternatives - ConPaso Route, 
2nd Paragraph, Line 5 

With respect to the statement that coal from the Navajo Coal 
2 3-p Lease could be shipped to markets off the reservation, a 

reference to FES 77-13 should be inserted at the end of the 
sentence. 

p. VIII-36, Regional Transportation Alternatives - ConPaso Route, 
7th Paragraph, 2nd Sentence 



23-G 



The text states that "[f]ossil resources are known to occur 
along the route" yet acknowledges that no survey is available. 
The basis or source for this statement should be identified. 



p. VIII-36, Regional Transportation Alternatives - ConPaso Route, 
7th Paragraph, 3rd Sentence 

This sentence states: "The route crosses 11 major streams and 
about 230 minor streams". The term major and minor streams 
I obviously needs to be defined to indicate if they are referring 
to perennial and intermittent rivers or if the terms primarily 
relate to ephemeral washes. The only major stream crossed by 
the proposed route is the San Juan River. 

On pages 1-18 (Surface - Water Developments, 2nd Paragraph, 2nd Senten ce), 
V-3 (Water Resources, 2nd Paragraph, 1st Sentence), and VI1I-40 (Slurry 
Pipeline, 2nd Paragraph, 2nd Sentence) 

The text indicates that all of the surface water of the 
San Juan Basin is fully appropriated and committed. The 
23-1 term "fully appropriated and committed" implies that there 
is no surface water available even for pending applications 
to put surface water in the San Juan Basin to benefical use. 
If the phrase does not include pending applications, then it 
appears to be erroneous. If it is in fact erroneous, this 
statement should be corrected on all three pages. 

Map Package - Map B 



23-J 



Map B incorrectly shows two locations for two gasification 
plants. Only one complex will be constructed at the sue 
of Burnham 11 on flap B. 



Map Package - Map II 
23-K 



This map does not correlate with Table 11-18, p. 11-79 
which lists the roadless areas. 



Consolidation Coal Company will provide comments on the ConPaso Railroad. 
El Paso appreciates the opportunity to comment on this draft statement. 
Very truly yours, 



Jfchn M. Craig, Ph.D. 
Director 
Environmental Affairs 



pa 



cc: L. Salyer - Consol 



X 

I 



Responses to Comments from 
El Paso Natural Gas Company 

23-A. The suggested change has been made in the text. 

23-B. Citations have been added to the text. The timeframe 
referred to In assumption Me) was arrived at by 
calculation, using items 4(a) through 1(d) as the basis 
for calculation. 

23-C. The table has been corrected. 

23-D. OSH regulations are described in Chapter III of the 
Regional ES. In addition, mitigating measures for impacts 
to soil3 are found in Chapter IV of both site-specific 
analyses. The impacts in Chapter IV Regional would be 
mitigated in accordance with regulations. 

These statements are based on information which results 
from general observation of soil alteration in mining and 
other disturbance situations. During mining, pore space 
is greatly reduced, which negatively affects the "tilth" 
of the soil (friability, air/water ratios). This results 
In an increase in bulk density. Soil productivity (in 
terms of favorable environment for plant growth) is 
thereby reduced some amount from what it was in the 
undisturbed state. (Refer to Buekman, Harry 0. and I'rady, 
Nyle C. , The Nature and Properties of Soils , 7th ed., 
1969, Macmillan Publ. Co., Inc., New York for a good 
general reference.) 



Responses to Comments from 
El Paso Natural Gas Company 

23-E. Soil productivity would decrease as amendments 
(fertilizers) are utilized and removed by plant growth, 
but the loss would be much more drastic in its effect than 
for natural soil material that has a soluble reserve of 
soil nutrients to replace those removed by vegetation. 
Irrigation waters would result in chemical reactions that 
would also cause the release of soil nutrients. In the 
relatively sterile spoil material, cessation of irrigation 
and fertilization would result in a rapid fall-off in 
nutrient availability. 

23-F and -G. The references have been added. 

23-H. The text has been revised to add a definition for major 
streams. 

23-1. The text of Chapter I has been revised. 

23-J. The large maps for the final ES have already been printed 
and cannot be changed. The description of the project in 
Chapter I has been revised, which should resolve any 
confusion. 

23-K. The text has been revised to correlate with Map G. 



24 



united states pcf af.-m.-l-.t of agriculture 

FOhLil £EKv CE 



R-3 



United States Department of Agriculture 
forest service 




24-A 



3 



Reg i Oil 3 

517 Gold Avenue , S.W. 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102 

1950 
December 4 , 197K 



Mr. L. Paul Applegate, District Manager 
Bureau of Land Management, USDI 
3550 Pan American Freeway, N.E. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 



Dear Mr. Applegate: 

Thank you lor the opportunity to review and comment 
on the Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal Draft Environ- 
mental Statement. Our comments are enclosed. 

It is probable that the development of the proposal 
could have secondary impacts on the Santa Fe and 
Cibola National Forests. These impacts could result 
from increased populations in the small communities 
in and near the project area and from the future need 
of additional primary or backup interconnecting 
transmission lines that would cross National Forest 
land. These impacts should be recognized early in 
the development of the project. Therefore, I ask 
that the Forest Service be identified as a cooperating 
agency during the development of the Final Environmental 
Statement. Our interest as a cooperating agency would 
only relate to the identification and mitigation of 
possible impacts on National Forest lands. 

Thank you, again for the opportunity to review the 
Draft . 

Sincerely , 



Decer.ber 1 , 1976 




//' 



/ 



M. J. HASSLLL 
Regional Forester 

Enc: losure 



f.ifi.rro 1 5^0 Environmental Statement Process 
(Rr.) 

iJtJicr Drcft Environmental Statement--SUr Lal.e- 
Bisti Regional Coal 

to Director, Lend Management Planning 



Enclosed dre our comments on the Site Specific Analysis for the 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line, the Star Lake Railroad, 
and the Regional Analysis. 

Our major concerns are that the DES does not: 

1. Display and evaluate major irrpacts (92-mile water pipeline 
and Plains Electric 1000 I'm 1 generating station) and dots not meet 
the intent of NEPA as discussed in Section 1E02.1 Purpose end 
1S02.14 Alternatives of the CEQ. KEFA Guidelir.es published in 

F.R. 43, No. 112, June 9, 1978. 

2. Address the project's impact on local residents who do not 
have sufficient skills to acquire or hold a jot or those who oo net 
want to adopt the white man's work ethics or values. 

3. Address the cumulative inpacts of the project and related 
developments on the entire San Juan Easin air shed. Two ether coal- 
firtd generating stations, Springerville and Prewitt, are also beinc 
planned. The impact of tnese plants and those conte-plated in this 
action may exceed the TSP, SO?, HOj allocable standards within the 
Class 1 areas located within the air shed. 

1. Adequately address the CcnPaso Railroad alternative, as 
well as the coal slurry line alternative. 

5. Prescribe specific relitigation measures for the impact of 
the loss of native vegetation, wildlife habitat, paleontological 
and archeological remains. 

6. Identify and evaluate the impact of the development; over 
the entire 3S-year life of the project. All of the evaluation has 
t.ter. carried only through 1990. It is understood that the railroad, 
generating station, transmission lints, and transportation system 
will he completed by tnat time. 

However, the primary and secondary impacts of the strip minino 
and air quality degradation by the three new power plants-- 
l.ew Kexico Station, Springerville Station, and the Prewitt 
Statior,--wil 1 be dependent upon the strip mined coal. 

Please contact us if we can be of further assistance. 



24-B 



24-C 



24-D 



24-E 



24-F 



24-G 



K5S- 



JLU- 



JOHK T. l.OEII 
Di rector 
Recreation 



Enclosures 



I 

-J 

Si 



Star Leke-Bisti Regional Coal Environmental Statement 
Site Specific Analysis Star Lake Railroad 



Chapter 1 - Description of the Proposal 
Pace SLR I-I 

History 

A statement made in the fifth paragraph of this section indicates 
that final survey and engineering has already been accomplished on 
the proposed alinerrient. We believe that allowing an applicant to 
perform surveys and final engineering studies on a proposal center- 
line before the DES is published for public comment is contrary to 
the intent of NEPA. There is no evidence presented that any surveys 
or engineering were conducted on alternative routes. Allowing the 
applicant to complete final surveying and engineering studies would, 
in our view, place the Federai agencies, who will be asked to issue 
rioht-of-wey authorizations, in the position of appearing to give 
tacit approval for an easement across lands under their jurisdiction. 
The cost of these studies and surveys will be a factor that is 
bound to influence the Federal agency who will grant right-of-way 
if changes in alinement are proposed as a result of public input. 



Actually, their consultant, Burns and McDonald, has been irvestigatino 

this site for close to two years. The contract was dated November 13, 

1975. A siting study for the proposed coal-fired generating plant 

was published April 28, 1976. Page VI-6 of the study states that 

train transportation is assumed to te the only viable means to move 

fuel to any proposed plant site located remote from fuel sources. 

Figure Vl-2 Rail Transport Facilities clearly shows the proposed 

Star Lake Railroad route. The recommended site for the Prewitt C-enere- 

tino Station lies « n-.iles west of Prewitt and immediately west of the 

-outn of Casemero •■'ash. Chapter VII I -Alternative to the Proposed fteiicr.S 

•Star Leke-E-isti Regional Coal DES) identifies that the western route cf 

the proposed SLR (alternative) left the AUSF r.ain line near Prewitt 

and followed Cesamero Drew. This route would piece this alternative 

rail line immediately adjacent to the proposed Prewitt Generating Station. 

Face VII-10 of the siting study documents that negctiations were initiated 
between Santa Fe Industries end Cherokee Coal and Kininfl Company, a 
subsidiery of Santa Fe Industries for coal rights. 



Section 501 (b)(1) of the Act of October 21, 1976 (90 Stat. 2776), 
requires the applicant to submit and disclose those plans, contracts, 
agreements, or other information reasonably related to the use, or 
intended use of the right-of-way including its effect on competition. 
It has been known since Hay 1978 that FiEA (Plains Electric Coop) is 
planning a 1050 Mr.' coal-fired generating station near Prewitt. 



Based on the above facts, it is obvious that SLR (a wholly owned sub- 
sidiary of Santa Fe Industries, Incorporated) has been aware of Plains 
Electric plans to construct a coal- fired generating station either 
immediately adjacent to or near the intersection of the SLR with the 
main line of the AT&SF Railroad. 






Their failure to advise the study team of these plans and their antici- 
pated impact on the location and use of the SLR appears to be an act 
that violates Section 501 (b)(1) of the Act of October 21, 1676 (60 
Stat. 2776), and is contrary to the intent of 40 CFR part 1500.1 
(Proposed Regulations for the Implementation of Section 102 (2) of the 
•fEFA). 

The failure to consider the environmental impacts of the Frewitt 
Generatino Station and SLR is contrary to the intent of Part 1502.1 
of the Proposed Regulations for Implementing Procedural Provisions of 
the national Environmental Policy Act as published in the Federal 
Recister en Friday, June 9, 1978. 



Charter HE - Future Environment Without the Proposed Action 
Face SLR 11-36 

General 



24-H 



This section does not address the possibility of transportino by 
truck or by coal slurry pipeline. Transportation of coal by truck 
is purported to be economically feasible for distances of u? to 100 
r.iles. A coal slurry pipeline is presently providing fuel from the 
Elack Hesa mine in northeastern Arizona to the 1'iC.jave generating 
station in extreme western Arizona, a distance of approximately 000 
miles. 



Chapter I IB - Future Environment l-.'ithout the Proposed Action 
Pages SLR 11-38 ~ 

Rail roads 

No mention is made of the spur line to the Prewitt Generating Station 



Chapter VIII of the Reqional Analysis briefly describes other rail 
line alternatives (page VI 1 1-36) . The most favorable alternative 
to the proposal appears to be the proposed ConPaso line which is 
proposed for construction primarily on the ','evajo reservation (30 
miles). To serve all mines included in the SLR proposal, this line 
would have to be ISO miles long. ConPaso has indicated that their 
present line is planned to be private and that it will not apply 
for common carrier authority from the ICC. 

He have the following questions or concerns on the above alternative. 

1. The analysis in Chapter VIII of the Regional Analysis compares 
the SLR anjj ConPaso Alternative as an "either-or" situation. U'e 
believe that the ConPaso line is a certainty rather than a possible 
alternative to SLR. Therefore, the question is whether the Federal 
agencies should authorize a second line (SLR) and the attendant environ- 
mental destruction for "convenience, flexibility, or profit. " We 
suspect profit may be an overridino reason. 



24-1 



2. Kould ConPaso apply to ICC or common carrier authority if 
they were given the opportunity to compete with SLR for contracts to 



X 

f 

cc; 



2i-i 



2A-K 



haul coal fron the Star Lake area (Fruitland coal forfcction) mines? 
Since railroads are known to be very expensive to build, operate, 
and maintain, it would seem logical that e private company, such as 
ConPaso, would welcome cr, in fact, actual ly seel, out additional con- 
signers to defray the construction, operation, and r.s i nter.E r.ce expenses. 
(SLR 111-12 liststhe SLR as serving 3 coal nines.) 

Socioeconomic Conditions 

:;o mention is r.ade of the irpact on the subsistence ranching life- 
style of the present inhabitants. 

Chapter 111 - ■ nviron-ental 1-pacts 

Aci cultur e 
SLR 111-12 

Secondary impacts caused by developrent of the stria nines are net 

discussed in enough detail. The first para era pi of the rich! hand 

C&lunn discusses mitigation measures rather then environmental impacts 

caused ty rir.e develor-nent. The secondary •-.pact of strip r ine de>e"co 

r«r.t would be loss of fcreoe production on the f,7E2 acres of lend 

est, meted to te destroyed by ir.inirio (Table SLR Jil-Cl ur.x '.1 rtvtctta- 

tion is acco~pl is hed. 



Charter IV - I'i t ioa t inn Measures 
SLR IV- 1 



24-L 



Soils, Vegetation, and Wildlife - Regulations cited are good as 
general direction. However, specific plans ere needed to carry 
out these requirements. 

Vegetation 
SLR 1V-3 

We would recommend that the railroad right-of-way be reveaetated even 

if no livestock were to graze it. Revegetation would mitigate sor* 

of the impact of losing 2,851 acres of wildlife habitat. It would 

appear that SLR would have to aoxee to this under the provisions of 

13 CFR 2B01.1-5. In addtion to this need, we believe that revegetation 

would help to mitigate soil erosion and water sedimentation. 



24-M 



Transportation 



^es Kecjired by Law or Peculation 



This section states that SLR will raerge roads where several reads 
cross the proposed alinement within a short distance. Will they 
close and reveoetate those sections or road that will be abandoned? 

Agriculture 

The statement is made that "all surface owners would he compensated 
for orpine areas lost due to the proposed action." if the word 
"compensated" as used here means negotiating a value of the AUK's 
of forace lost with the landowners, we 6v not believe this to be 
a prooer mitigation measure. The second paraoraph under the "Agri- 
culture" subheading on pane SLR 111-12 of the impact section points 



ansae 



I 

to 



24-N 



cut that between 5-10 Indian operators could be forced to cive up 
their traditional livestock-based lifestyle because of the impact 
of the railroad right-of-way on their 1 £.0 acre livestock allotments. 
i.'e supoest that a fairer forr, of mitigation would be to either rete- 
getete the balance of those affected allotments to where there would 
be the same number and kind of livestock as was beino supported by 
the land prior to construction of the railraod or to buy these effected 
operators a similar sized ranch of the sane livestock capacity some- 
where outside the richt-cf-wcy limits. 

Chapter IV - Adverse Impacts That Cannot be .'voided 
Paleontoloov 



Salvagt will remove fossils frtn research in their natural ostrfx tv 
future paleontologists. 

V.'ater Resources 

Sedimentation could be reduced by prompt revegetetion. Section :Cr 
(a)(1) of FL-94-579 (43 USC 17CS) requires that rioht-cf-wey applicants 
"minimize damage tc scenic and esthetic values and fish ar.d wildlife 
habitat and otherwise protect the environment." The unavoidable 
impacts listed in Soils, Vegetation, and Wildlife sections of this 
chapter could be mitigated by requiring the applicant tc reveoetate 
5_U disturbed areas. An ececuate performance bond would insure that 
the acplicent accomplished this objective. 



24-0 



24-P 



24-Q 



DES-Star Lake-Bisti Regional Coal 

Site-Specific Analysis - Fruitland Coal Load - Transmission Line 



Pace F 11-12 - Existing Environment - Site-Specific Analysis 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line 

Cul tural Resources 

This section should address a specific transmission line corridor 

and inventory the archeolooicel and historical sites that are 

within or could be impacted by transmission line construction 

activities. The inventory should also oive some indications of 

the significance end some indications as to whether they may be 

significant enough to be nominated for inclusion in the National 

Register. If this analysis is truly "site-specific," then a ccrric':-'- 

should be clearly identified and inventoried. 

F 11-12 - 
Socioeconomics 

This section identifies that exploration and production of oil, 
natural gas, coal, and uranium has "increased steeply" but does not 
identify the chances this exploration end production has made in the 
local social structure. Has the local inhabitant traditional life- 
style been changed? If so, how? 

Paoe F 11-16 - Chapter lib - Future Environment Without the 
Proposed Action 

Second paragraph - Archeolopists earee that poi.erline construction 

access invite more vandalism and ■jneuthcrired collections from ercheo- 

logicel and historical sites. 



>< 



24-R 



24-S 



24-T 



24-U 



Chapter IV - Environmental Impacts - Site Specific Analysis 
Fruitland Coal Load Transmission Line 

Geologic Setting 

Secondary Impacts - Why was the year 1990 chosen as the cut-off date 

for computing acreage to be disturbed by strip mining, generating 

station, and associated community development? We understand the 

life of the plan, lines, and mine to be 35 years or more! 

We believe that the last sentence of the second paragraph of this 
section leaves the reader with a false impression on the signi- 
ficance of the total project. Tripling the amount of land that 
hill be disturbed by strip mining end generating facilities as well 
as their impact on air end water quality will be significant over 
the Region. The present impact evaluation covers or.ly 10-12 years 
of the anticipated 35 year life of the facilities. 

Air Quality 

Penultimate paragraph in this section. The generating station is 

causinq an increase of S0„ and NO over 360 to 750 square miles is 
2 2 

not quantified as to significance over the Region as a whole. 

We believe that these figures should be adjusted to reflect the 
contribution to air quality anticipated as a result of the con- 



l 



24-V 



24-W 



24-X 



st-ruction and operation of the 1050 + IU generating station at 
Prewitt. We believe that the anticipeted effects of these con- 
centrations on the Chaco Canyon National l-tonument should be 
addressed. 

Water Resources 

Water needed for Prewitt generating station should be added to 

these estimated amounts. However, all of these water impacts 

appear to be secondary. Shouldn't this section also address the 

impact of constructing the FCL Transmission Lines on the water 

resources i.e., water needed for batch plants and other construction 

activities? 

Soils 

Why aren't impacts carried throughout the 1 ife of the project rather 

than just through the first ten years? 

Vegetation 

Another factor contributing to the difficulty in revegetatino the 
veoetation destroyed in right-of-way clearing, providing the right- 
of-way is not fenced, will be livestock grazing. 

Wildlife 

Secondary Impacts - FCL will allow strip mining which will deplete 

wildlife habitat, small mcmmal and non-game birds in particular, thereby, 

redurina the number of raptors due to lack nf food. 



t 
00 



24-Y 



Threatened and Endangered Species 

Conductor span as indicated in Figure F 1-1 on page F-l-5 appears 
to be too areat (20 feet) for eagles to span - wing tip to wing tip. 
Therefore, accidental electrocution appears to be very unlikely. If 
greater impact will be the removal of rodent habitat, that Kill result 
from strip mining operations. 

race F JII-6 - Aesthetics 

Visual Resources 

Last paragraph - How nany total acres will be affected by the activities 

whose growth would be enabled by the FCL ever the entire project life 

(35 years)? 



24-Z 



This section should also include secondary impacts caused bv strip 
"-imng. Considering that 12, £60 acres will be strip mined by 19r0, 
the least loss in AUK's would be 1,150 (12,660 - 11 acres/Al'") 
while the greatest loss could be 3,165 (12,660 t 4 acres/Al'",). ! -: 
this saw rate of strip mining will be continued through the life 
of the project these fioures could be t